Financing for home improvements can also be considered housing costs. Housing costs is the term used to describe payments relating to your home improvement, which the financial institutions loan on the basis of your income statement. Not all of your housing costs will be met. Usually you will only be paid a standard rate of interest on mortgages, including second mortgages or other loans, which you are liable for and which were taken out in order to purchase or maintain your home.
You will not get any help with capital repayments or the cost of associated insurance premiums, including the insurance element of an endowment mortgage. If you have an endowment mortgage, it may be worth considering changing to a capital repayment mortgage, but you should seek advice first from one of the agencies. These agencies may also help you negotiate terms with your lender if you are unable to meet any shortfall between the payments due on your loan and the housing costs paid with your benefit.
The current rules on housing costs are far more stringent compared to previous years. However, if you have been claiming income-based finance continuously (apart from breaks up to 12 weeks, which are ignored) since then, your housing costs may be calculated in a different way. This is because of the fact that you may have been entitled to some transitional protection when the previous and more generous scheme was replaced.
The main change is that there is now a far longer waiting period before your full housing costs can be paid. Other significant changes include a standard rate of interest. Interest on arrears of interest, which accrue during the waiting period, or deferred interest accumulating under the terms of a low start mortgage, can no longer be met.