City of Wolverhampton Council's Affordable Warmth Grant Assistance programme continues to make a big difference to people's lives.

The scheme, aimed at vulnerable private sector residents in need of help with heating measures, recently came to the aid of cancer sufferer, Mark Saville.

The 65 year old was unable to leave hospital and return to his home as he had no heating system at his Ashmore Park address to keep him warm during his recovery from a major bowel operation and Chemotherapy.

But, following a referral from Wolverhampton MacMillan Welfare Rights Service due to his low income and poor health, the council's private sector housing improvement team swung into action to install a heating system in just 4 working days.

It meant Mark could return home in time to spend Christmas with his wife, Lynne.

Wolverhampton MacMillan Welfare Rights Service Advisor, Lorraine Mason, said: "When you are affected by cancer it can be tough on your finances.

"The side effects of cancer treatment can make it harder to keep warm, meaning you often need to turn the heating up.

"So it's great to hear that the Affordable Warmth Grant team was able to get heating installed in Mark's home in time for Christmas.

"Cancer can be a very lonely place, but having heating installed meant Mark could spend Christmas with his loved ones."

Wolverhampton has always been at the forefront of local authorities in delivering the scheme, which it has been running for 20 years.

It is one of the few councils that utilises its own funding to ensure those residents whose health is at risk due to living in cold/damp conditions can keep their homes warm.

Councillor Peter Bilson, City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Housing and Assets, said: "As a local authority we do a lot to target fuel poverty in Wolverhampton.

"I'm delighted we were able to help Mark and wish him well in battling his illness.

"Our Affordable Warmth Grant Assistance scheme is tailored to meet the demands of the city population.

"The grant plays a vital role in helping residents whose health is adversely affected by living in a cold or damp property, and ensures that qualifying residents receive high standard heating systems that are economic to run."

To qualify for an Affordable Warmth Assistance grant the resident must meet 5 criteria:

  1. be an owner occupier living in the City of Wolverhampton
  2. be in receipt of at least 1 income related benefit or a benefit related to disability
  3. be judged to be at risk of serious ill health due to living in a cold/damp home
  4. the property must be in council tax band A, B or C - properties in a higher band will only receive assistance in exceptional circumstances
  5. have resided at the property for a minimum of 12 months

Up to 200 grants a year are available. The maximum grant is £5,000, while the average grant allocated is £2,700. The grants do not cover fuel bills.

The service also hand holds vulnerable people through the process of the works needed.

Possible works include fitting full central heating systems, replacing boilers, replacing/adding radiators to a system, providing heating controls, where appropriate, and offering advice on paying fuel bills and energy efficiency.

An affordable warmth grant referral form is now available to submit online at Type=articles;Articleid=9577;Title=Affordable Warmth Grant Assistance;.  Only a name, address and contact details are required to take the grant forward. There is also an additional box if people wish to leave further information.

For more information contact City of Wolverhampton Council Private Sector Housing Improvement Officers Mandy Findlay ( / 01902 551346) or Lynda Eyton ( / 01902 555706).

  • released: Thursday 9 February, 2017