Almost a million pound was spent on Home Improvement Grants by Caerphilly County Borough Council last year – the majority going to private landlords.
The council revealed £933,795 was spent on the grants in the 2013/14 financial year.
Over £250,000 of this was spent in renewal areas of Llanbradach and Senghenydd but the grants were not directly targeted at the vulnerable, instead going into the pockets of private landlords.
Now the grants will be scrapped and replaced with interest-free Home Improvement Repayment Loans.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s cabinet discussed the plans at a meeting on April 30 with Minor Works Grants continuing to be available for the most vulnerable.
The scrapping of the Home Improvement Grant was supported by the cross-party Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee, but the Minor Works Grants face a 15% cut, making £800,000 available to vulnerable homeowners.
Half a million pound would have been available for Home Improvement Grants this year, but the committee proposed the money would be better spent elsewhere to improve private housing.
Cllr Hefin David, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Scrutiny Committee, said: “As this grant could not be specifically and directly targeted at the most needy, it was agreed that it would be better to use the money for a range of other, specifically targeted grants.
“A recommendation was also made to offer interest-free loans that would benefit those vulnerable households previously excluded from the Home Improvement Grant programme.”
The cabinet also discussed plans to privatise certain services, putting them at odds with the trade unions.
Outsourcing of services to third party organisations will be examined by scrutiny committees and at future cabinet meetings before any decisions are made.
Trade unions warned “campaigns would ensue which would be counterproductive to continuing working relationships”.
A report by the joint trade unions at Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “Ultimately this is a short-term gain for a long-term issue.
“If anything we should be looking at whether any functions can actually be brought back in-house, as many public service organisations are realising they can now run these contracts at a lower cost.”
Gary Enright, Caerphilly Unison Branch Secretary, added: “We will not accept and we will not engage in any outsourcing processes.”
The union also oppose proposals to further review mileage expenses, saying the council should focus on voluntary retirement and voluntary redundancy in its bid to save money.