For many people living in designated ‘Heritage Overlay’ areas or in a Heritage listed building, the cost of restoration can be somewhat daunting. However it can be entirely less problematic if your property and its buildings qualify for a nil-interest or low interest Heritage Loan.
The criteria for eligibility is restoration, not maintenance. Essentially your proposed works must be restorative, and your property publicly visible in most cases. You will need to prove that the works are of a restorative nature through building plans, photographs and drawings. It goes without saying that the services of a specialist Heritage Architect would be recommended and ultimately most advantageous.
There are restrictions and it is wise to be well aware of what these are before commencing your application. Each council area has slightly different criteria. Balance Architecture’s Principal Architect, Andrew Fedorowicz (FAIA), has a thorough working knowledge of such requirements and is happy to assist you (His contact details appear at the end of this article.)
Currently, the Ballarat City Council, the Bendigo City Council, the Shire of Hepburn, the Geelong City Council, the Melbourne City Council and the City of Yarra all offer such low interest loans. The Borough of Queenscliffe also offers a comprehensive package but it is also far more demanding in terms of detail and competitive quoting on proposed restorative works.
If you are interested and would like to know more, here are the links for each location. The Victorian Heritage Restoration site provides information for property owners and residents in the City of Melbourne, the City of Yarra and also Ballarat.
- Bendigo: https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/Services/Heritage/Heritage-Restoration-Loan-Scheme
- Geelong: https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/governance/article/item/8cf639b504b3be6.aspx
- Ballarat: https://www.ballarat.vic.gov.au/property/planning/heritage
- Hepburn: https://www.hepburn.vic.gov.au/heritage-services/
- Queenscliffe: http://www.queenscliffe.vic.gov.au/infrastructure-and-development/planning-and-building/heritage
- Adelaide: https://www.cityofadelaide.com.au/about-council/grants-sponsorship-incentives/heritage-incentives-scheme-his/
- Eligibility: http://www.vhrf.org.au/eligibility/
To give some examples of what may be funded in different areas, in Bendigo the re-installment of Verandahs, the restoration of shop-front joinery and front fences from historic photographs, repainting and repairs to timber windows and to chimneys have all been funded.
In both the City of Melbourne and the City of Yarra, painting is not funded and if the building is not visible to the public, funding is restricted.
In the Borough of Queenscliffe the projects approved are entirely at the discretion of the Council’s Planning Department.
The City of Adelaide offers similar funding but it requires documentation and plans of a completely professional standard.
The simplest solution is to engage a Heritage Architect with a proven track record in preparing such documentation and in supervising such restorations. Andrew Fedorowicz, our Principal Architect has over 25 years experience in Heritage Architecture. Whether it’s a restoration of Ironwork or Verandahs, ornate Victorian tiling, roofing, chimneys or decorative external mouldings, it’s worth making an enquiry – even to restore that original fence.
Then again if it’s a full restoration of a Victorian Terrace, a Queen Anne or Georgian style home, or simply a Californian Bungalow, discover what is possible. Restoration of commercial premises – shops, warehouses and older shopping centre façades and verandahs? Call now on 0418 534 792 for a free no-obligation consultation on both your potential renovation and the possibility of a low interest loan to achieve it. You can leave your details here for a prompt reply. The funding is available if applicants follow due process. Let Balance Architecture restore your Heritage property to its former grandeur.