In the UK it is very common to invest in a property that needs either huge renovations or minor home improvements to turn it into the property of your dreams. In Spain, this used to be less common but in March 2018 the Spanish Government launched a four-year Housing Plan make completing home renovations in the country a little easier, and effectively fix the problems that many Spanish residents face when it comes to living in habitable homes.
The Housing Plan covers ten key points, and these range from helping younger people to get on the property ladder to helping keep people in their homes when they can’t afford to pay their rent. One of the key points from the Housing Plan, and the focus of this piece, is financial aid for individuals living in Spain whose properties are in need of essential home improvements.
This initiative is no small scheme: In fact, the Spanish government have allocated between €350 to €370 million of its annual budget to this Housing Plan scheme. And in further good news, the scheme has now been extended from the end of 2021 until December 31st 2022, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Can I Apply for a Grant?
You do not have to be a Spanish citizen to apply for a Housing Plan scheme grant, but you do have to have Spanish residency. So, if you are a British citizen living in Spain on a full-time basis then you are eligible to apply for a grant, but if you are a Spanish second home owner who is not a full time Spanish resident then you cannot apply.
What Are the Requirements to Secure a Grant?
As mentioned above, in order to secure a Home Improvement grant in Spain you must be a resident of Spain. Beyond that, it doesn’t matter whether your home is mortgaged or not and renters can also apply, provided their landlord agrees for any work to be done.
It also doesn’t matter what type of property you live in; detached houses, terraced houses, and houses in residential communities are all eligible. Living in a flat? You can still apply individually, or your housing community can make a joint request for grants for blocks of flats or apartments. For an entire building to be eligible, at least 50 percent of the properties must be first homes and not short-term holiday lets. Any home that is not occupied as a primary residence is not eligible.
Home improvements on individual properties can’t take longer than 12 months once your municipality has issued the license, and for blocks of flat this deadline is extended to 16 months: 18 months if the project consists of more than 40 properties. The company or builder must supply a legal invoice for the project to be eligible for a grant.
What Can the Grant Be Used For?
There are three different wide-reaching project types that you can apply for a grant for, under Spain’s 2018 Housing Plan. These three different grant types are:
- For energy efficiency reasons (Programa 5: Fomento de la mejora de la eficiencia energética y sostenibilidad en viviendas)
- For conservation, safety and access reasons (Programa 6: Fomento de la conservación, de la mejora de la seguridad de utilización y de las accesibilidad en viviendas)
- For urban/rural renovation or renewal reasons (Programa 7: Fomento de la regeneración y renovación urbana y rural)
The improvements you apply for can be both inside and outside the property, and the project should serve as an incentive to invest in derelict homes, or homes in need of extensive renovation, knowing that the cost of these renovation will be supported by the government.
How Much Money is Grant Worth?
If it’s a house, the highest grant amount available to you is €12,000, or 40 percent of the cost. If you’re living in a flat or apartment, the grant limit is €8,000. Up to €1,000 extra can be requested for improvements to properties that are registered as being buildings of “cultural interest”.
If you’re under 35 years of age then you may find that your region offers grants of up to 25 percent of the total renovation price: these are particularly being used as an enticement in municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants that are looking for encourage more young residents.
The grant can cover 75 percent of the cost for applicants with very low incomes (lower than 3 times the IPREM indicator) or when the project is to improve access for disabled or elderly people (65 years old and over).
How do I apply for a grant?
As is so often the case in Spain, you don’t apply for your grant via a central find but instead the funds are allocated via each regional authority. That means that if you think you are eligible for a grant, and you want to apply, then your first port of call should be the regional website for the region in which you live in. Look for pages headed “convocatorias” (grant application announcements) and this will include all of the information you need. Below is a list of the Spanish regions and how to apply for grants in each of them:
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