Housing and home improvements

Housing support available in the borough.

Rent and Council Tax

If you're on a low income you may be able to get help with paying your rent and your Council Tax. You may also be eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are for people receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, including a housing element, who require further financial assistance with housing costs because their benefit does not cover their full rent.

Find out more about Discretionary Housing Payments.

Financial Inclusion Team

The Financial Inclusion Team provides benefits, budgeting and debt advice to council tenants who are having difficulty paying their rent.

They can provide advice to new tenants, benefit advice, help on dealing with debt, budgeting advice and help understanding your rent charges.

Crisis Assistance

Crisis Assistance provides support by way of supermarket vouchers that can be used for groceries and fuel vouchers which can be used for prepaid meters.

Find out more about Crisis Assistance.


If you are a social housing tenant in a property with more bedrooms than you need, or your are struggling to heat and maintain your home, it could be beneficial to downsize. With the Room to Move scheme, you can get a payment of between £200 and £5000 depending on the size of your property.

Find out more about downsizing.

Social housing energy efficiency

Some registered social landlords (such as housing associations) have funding available to help improve the energy efficiency of social housing. If you are unsure, please contact your housing provider.

Support for mortgage interest

If you are a homeowner, you might be able to get help towards interest payments on your mortgage or loans you've taken out for certain repairs and improvements to your home. It's paid as a loan, which you’ll need to repay with interest when you sell or transfer ownership of your home.

Find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest (GOV.UK).

Money Helper - Mortgage support

If you’re struggling to meet your mortgage repayments, the government could be able to help. You could be able to sign up for the Mortgage Rescue Scheme or other government benefits that might boost your income.

Find our more about Money Helper.

Local Assistance Scheme

For residents who receive welfare benefits who are subject to serious hardship, the Crisis Assistance scheme can help with the purchase of food and fuel and a Community Care Grant can help with the purchase of furniture and white goods.

The Green Homes Grant

The Green Homes Grant was a scheme run for homeowners and landlords in England to support the installation of energy efficient and low-carbon heating improvements to their homes.

The scheme was run via funding from central government to help households save on their energy bills and make homes warmer and more comfortable for those living in them.

The scheme is now closed. If you are looking for support with energy bills, our bills page has more information.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter. The money is not paid to you - it's a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October 2022 and March 2023.

You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.

The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.

The 2021/22 scheme is now closed. The 2022/23 scheme is expected to open soon.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme (GOV.UK).

Warmer Homes

The Mayor of London's Warmer Homes programme provides free heating, insulation and ventilation improvements for low-income Londoners who own their own homes or rent privately. Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 are available to eligible low income homeowners and private tenants.

South West London Energy Advice Partnership

SWLEAP provides energy advice across Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton to anyone in fuel poverty. This could be an energy visit to your home but we also provide advice at energy cafes in community settings, over the telephone or by email if you prefer.

South West London Law Centres

South West London Law Centres (SWLLC) provides free and independent legal advice on social welfare issues, including housing, debt and benefits. This includes help with tribunal appeals.

Winter warmth home service

Crisis Support is available by phone including fuel vouchers for those with a prepay meter, emergency heating repairs for homeowners, referrals for insulation and heating grants (via Sustainable Warmth and Warmer Homes 3, and subject to available funding) and support applying to the Household Support Fund (where available).

Standard support is also available by home visit, including:

  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • LED bulbs and radiator panels
  • Specialist advice on lowering your heating bills whilst keeping warm
  • Advice on energy and water bill tariff discounts including the 50 per cent Water Help discount and the Warm Home Discount (where available)
  • Assessments for grants for insulation and heating works
  • Referrals for benefit checks
  • Advice on health and wellbeing services in the borough
  • Referrals for a free smoke alarm.

Find out more about the winter warmth home service.

Private renting

It is important your rental property is safe to live in and is in a condition that doesn’t add to your living costs. We can help if you have a complaint you are struggling to resolve with your landlord.

Find out more about private renting.

Sleeping rough or street homeless

There are several agencies who can help if you have no option other than being on the street or sleeping rough. Find out about the homelessness agencies that can assist with emergency housing, advice, meals, wash facilities and laundry services.

Low cost home ownership

There are a limited number of schemes available for people who cannot afford to buy a property on the open market. You buy a share of a property and pay rent on the remainder, gradually buying further shares so that eventually you could own the property outright.

Find out more about low cost home ownership.