Home improvement and assistance (HIA)

Salford Home Improvement and Assistance service offers a range of support to older and vulnerable people.

The aim is to protect elderly and vulnerable people to maintain independent living in their own home. Or where appropriate we can provide assistance to home owners and tenants who need to find and/or move to more suitable accommodation should their current housing be unsuitable due to a change in circumstance.

Assistance will be offered to applicants where a home improvement loan is not appropriate but where sustainability of the current home is assessed as an issue.

Types of support

  • Major repairs to their homes such as leaking roofs, damp or electrical problems.
  • Advice, support and project management of large jobs.
  • Help to find finance for any required work, such as a loan product or support to help you access other services available, assistance is provided in accordance with the Private Sector Housing Assistance Policy (PSHAP) which can be downloaded below.
  • Help to identify somewhere more suitable to live.
  • Help with moving house.
  • If you’re financing your own work help finding a builder or managing the work.

Main services are available

  • Home improvement assistance can be provided where remaining in your own home is the most sustainable option. A financial assessment will determine the most suitable loan product for you.
  • Energy efficiency assistance can be offered where a home is considered to be fuel poor.
  • Housing assistance will be offered in cases where a home improvement loan is not considered appropriate but the suitability of your current home is in question.

Information about each service

Home improvement

Home Improvement service aims to assist you if you have a housing need that can be addressed by undertaking property maintenance and repair work that is required to render your home safe, warm and dry or to remove a condition that poses a direct risk to the health and safety of the occupants. A suitable loan product will be offered to cover the cost of any work required.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency measures may be able to be installed where an applicant is identified as living in fuel poverty or to prevent a household falling into fuel poverty. Measures such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, boiler repairs, radiators etc can be assessed. Emergency heating may also be available should you be without heating, in a no-heat situation.

Housing assistance

Housing assistance provides advice and practical assistance should you need to find more suitable housing due to a change in circumstance that renders your current housing unsuitable for purpose. This may be due to family members leaving the property and it has become too difficult to maintain or due to a change in health conditions.

Basic criteria for applicants to meet

Applicants must meet the following conditions:

They must be resident in Salford and lived in the property for the last three years and one of the below must apply.

Please note that home improvement loans will only be considered if you own the property.

  • Be 60 or over and have no other access to savings or funding and in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) - Income based
    • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - Income based
    • Universal Credit
  • If any member of the household has an illness or disability and is in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits which evidences such an illness or disability
    • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) disability element
    • Universal Credit
  • A low income family with a child or children under the age of 5 and in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits;
    • Income Support
    • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance
    • Working Tax Credit
  • A demonstrable housing need due to an illness or disability for which assistance is required to find suitable alternative accommodation to meet your needs and in receipt of one of the following;
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Personal Independent Payment / Disability Living Allowance

Make an application for assistance

Referrals from health care professions and partner organisations

Where a health professional has concerns regarding the health and wellbeing of an elderly or vulnerable client a referral can be made direct to the service. The client needs will be assessed and where assistance can be provided the qualified health professional will be informed. This includes referrals for hospital discharge support to enable a client to return home.

Support for hospital discharge to support residents who are awaiting discharge from hospital or have been recently been discharged from hospital who require help with housing issues, such as dealing with clutter or reducing the risk of falls. Support will only be given on a short-term basis.

Please include the following information in your referral:

  • What assistance are you seeking? Such as:
    • Hospital discharge
    • Clean and declutter
    • Assistance to move
  • Your contact details and your agency details.
  • Details of the client you are making referral form, including:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Occupant type (owner/occupier, private tenant, social tenant)
  • Has the client consented to a referral?

You will then be contacted shortly afterwards to provide further information on client eligibility.

Make a referral now

Guidance for applicants

All eligible applicants will be priority pointed and assessed to determine what type of assistance would be the most appropriate depending on your personal circumstances. You will be contacted to inform you of the outcome of your application.

You may be placed on a waiting list and you will receive a letter to inform you of waiting times. We will contact you to arrange a visit to the property to carry out an internal assessment. If you are not eligible see information below about referrals other services that may be able to assist you.

Applicants living in private rented accommodation or social housing will be required to have contacted their landlord or housing provider first to try and find a solution to your housing related issues. Your application may be closed if you have not contacted them prior to application.

Where a landlord or housing provider has a repairing obligation it will be up to them to carry out any such work. Any such applications will be referred to them to resolve.

Any issues relating to anti-social behaviour and other neighbourhood issues cannot be dealt with by this service, you will need to contact your landlord, housing provided, local neighbourhood officer or the council's anti-social behaviour team to try to resolve the situation.

Other forms of assistance available

If you do not qualify for our service, assistance may be available from other support agencies such as those listed below.

Tackling fuel poverty with energy efficiency improvements

FREE assistance is available to vulnerable households living in fuel poverty or to prevent household falling into fuel poverty. Assistance can be provided for cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation, loft insulation, boilers repairs, radiators, draft proofing, and boiler/gas checks.  

Information about fuel poverty assistance.

Handyperson service

This service run by Helping Hands aims to improve the quality of life for people in Salford by providing a reliable, affordable and trustworthy minor repair service; particularly to the disadvantaged and vulnerable. Everyone can use the service, whether you are a homeowner or a tenant. Some work is carried out FREE of charge, including materials.  

See Helping Hands for more information.


Tenants can seek assistance with repairs and landlord problems where contacting your landlord to report your concerns has not been effective.

Make a complaint about a rented property.

Salford Home Search

Salford Home Search is an innovative way of letting properties. This scheme gives you more choice when looking for your new home in Salford. It allows you to register, express your interest in properties and make most amendments to your application. Homes are advertised weekly, with new properties being added every Wednesday. 

See Salford Home Search for more information.

Housing Advice

Support for older and vulnerable people who are seeking to find alternative accommodation can be obtained from Housing Advice, they may be able to assist you if you have a housing need.

See the help for vulnerable or older people section for more information or email housing.advicecentre@salford.gov.uk.

Salford Foundation

Salford Foundation provide energy efficiency on fuel debt, energy tariff switching and pre-payment meter removals.

See Salford Foundation for more information. 

Salford Assist

Salford Assist may be able to assist with emergency credit for gas and electric meters.

Find out more about Salford Assist.

Downloadable documents

If you are unable to view documents of these types, our downloads page provides links to viewing software.

This page was last updated on 14 April 2023

Home maintenance and improvements

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