Changing rooms???

Older homeowners aged 60 or over, or households with a disabled person of any age can benefit from the Council-backed Houseproud scheme, which helps take the worry out of home improvements. The scheme is being launched in the Borough as part of the Merton Older Peoples Festival, which runs until Sunday 21 September 2003.

Houseproud is a ground breaking new scheme, which offers a safe and easy way to get repairs, improvements or adaptations carried out without any of the dangers posed by ‘cowboy builders’ or concerns over how to pay for the work. Merton Council has recently signed up to the scheme and will provide assistance to homeowners who wish to carry out repairs and improvements to their properties. The scheme is also being supported by many Council’s across London and the South-East and the Greater London Authority.

The Houseproud scheme offers a range of risk-free and affordable Houseproud loans, which are arranged through the Home Improvement Trust, to enable older residents to carry out home improvements. The loans are secured on the equity of the property but have the added reassurance of a unique guarantee of no repossession, so no one borrowing through Houseproud can lose their home.

A wide range of work is possible under the scheme, from a new bathroom to a new roof, adaptations to make life easier for disabled people to replacement windows and doors, improving energy efficiency to home security. All clients receive free independent financial advice before taking out any loan through Houseproud.

The scheme also offers advice to homeowners who do not need a loan to finance their improvement work, but who welcome the personal help, support and reassurance offered by the scheme’s access to technical advisers and good reliable builders.

Councillor Linda Kirby, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “I am delighted we are joining the Houseproud scheme as it will make it easier for Merton’s older or disabled residents to carry out home improvements and repairs.

“By providing both advice and financial assistance the scheme makes it easier for more vulnerable residents to continue living safely, independently and more comfortably in their own homes.”

For a free Houseproud information pack and video contact 0800 783 7569.

For further information on the scheme contact Merton Council’s Environmental Health department on 020 8545 3441. Older people can also get help and advice with regard to carrying out repairs and impro