MHRF Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Melbourne Heritage Restoration Fund (MHRF)?
The MHRF is an organisation that provides restoration advice, grants and loans to eligible City of Yarra residents wanting to conserve and restore their heritage buildings.
What kind of work represents a restoration or reconstruction?
Restoration and reconstruction can take many forms but always aims to return a house or building to its original state. This could include the removal of modern additions, replacement of a modern tiled roof with original slates or even the reinstatement of a missing verandah.
Who can apply for a grant or low interest loan?
You can apply for a grant or low interest loan if you own a house or building in the City of Yarra that is subject to a Heritage Overlay. To find out whether your site is subject to a Heritage Overlay you can obtain planning information from Land Channel or contact Council on 9205 5373
How much grant money is available?
As restoration and reconstruction works vary in scope and size, there is no set grant amount available. Instead, the MHRF assesses the merits of each application, and then makes a decision regarding the level of grant funding to be provided towards the costs. Please note that the MHRF issues grants for only a proportion of the total cost of works.
What is the interest rate for loan repayments?
Loan interest rates and repayment options vary.
To find out more information on the best loan arrangement for your needs, please contact the MHRF.
Making an application – where do I start?
Initial enquiries should be directed to Liz Brant, Strategic Planner, on 9205 5332, who can assist with general information about the MHRF and can arrange for an onsite meeting with the MHRF’s Conservation Consultant.
It may be useful to discuss the project with the MHRF’s Conservation Consultant in order to ascertain the kind of works that might receive assistance. It is important to note that restoration work can be more complex than general building work and your preferred tradespeople will need to demonstrate previous experience in work of this kind.
Restoration and reconstruction works must reproduce early construction methods and materials, and modern replacement materials such as polystyrene moldings, acrylic renders or colorbond finishes are unlikely to receive support.
How do I make an application?
Applications for loans or grants can generally only be made by building owners (or by tenants with the approval of the building owners).
For more information, see How To Apply.
How will I know if my application has been successful?
All applications for financial assistance are reviewed by the MHRF Advisory Committee or Committee of Management at meetings held four times a year. Once the application has been approved, the MHRF Administrator will send out the relevant MHRF Agreements directly to the applicant.
What kind of agreement will I have to sign?
A standard agreement between the MHRF and the applicant is drawn up outlining the responsibilities of each party. A number of loan options exist and you should select the one which best suits your circumstances. The various loan options are outlined in the MHRF Application Form.
No impositions are made on the title of the property.
It is important to note that the offer of assistance will be based upon the precise scope of works submitted with the application. Variations in the extent or nature of the works or in the specific trades people undertaking the works may result in the offer being reduced or withdrawn. Any variation in the works should be brought to the attention of the MHRF Administrator prior to the commencement of works.
How do I collect the funding offered?
Loan money is available immediately after the agreement has been signed. However, you must commence the works within six months of receiving the loan and must complete the works within one year of the commencement of works. If the restoration project is not completed in accordance with the agreement, the loan may be required to be repaid.
The applicant must provide access to the site of works for the MHRF’s Conservation Consultant, as required, to undertake periodic assessments of the works.
Grants will not be issued until the full scope of works has been completed and the MHRF’s Conservation Consultant has undertaken all necessary inspections and approvals.
Do I have to repay the money?
Loans are generally repayable over five years. Outstanding loans must be discharged immediately if the property is sold.
Grant money does not have to be repaid unless the house is sold within six months of receipt of the grant. In this instance, grant money must be repaid to the MHRF in full.
Do I still need permits from Council?
Property owners must obtain all necessary planning and building permits from Council prior to commencing building works. For more information on planning and building permits, click here.
The property owner may also be required to comply with site advertising requirements of the MHRF while the works are underway and to make the building available for photography.
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