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Award winning service

Published on 03 August 2018

Award winning service

Homelife Carlisle Home Improvement Agency (HIA), provided by Carlisle City Council, has won a national award - Home Adaptations Service of the Year, sponsored by Altro.

Homelife Carlisle has been recognised for its success in speeding up home adaptations and for increasing the breadth for types of measures that improve health, well-being and independence. This was achieved by working with partners and with other City Council departments to improve the referrals process and through changing the council’s housing policy to meet Carlisle and district resident’s needs. Grants are awarded for home improvements including stair-lifts, level access showers, heating, damp-proofing etc. and residents are encouraged to apply for help to maintain and adapt their homes.

Run by Carlisle City Council, the HIA has overseen a major increase in support via Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) - the main source of local funding for housing adaptations. This includes a 55% rise in mandatory DGFs and an incredible 130% increase in discretionary grants funding resulting in 230% increase of grant completions.

The HIA Awards - honouring Home Improvement Agencies and Handyperson Services across England - was held at the House of Lords on Thursday 19 July 2018.

Portfolio Holder for Communities, Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Lee Sheriff attended the award event at the House of Lords last week to receive the award alongside staff. She said:

“I’m delighted that Homelife, Carlisle have won an HIA award for Home Adaptations Service of the year. This is an amazing recognition for all the hard work by staff. The award recognises the team’s success in speeding up home adaptations and for increasing the breadth for types of measures that improve health, well-being and independence of Carlisle residents.”

Organised by Foundations, the national body for HIAs, the annual awards - sponsored by ProCare -recognise the way in which the 200-strong HIA sector is contributing to the prevention and early intervention agenda in helping to link up health, housing and social care.

Representatives from government departments and organisations including Public Health England, HACT, Centre for Ageing Better, The Royal College of Occupational Therapists and Disabled Living Foundation joined finalists at the House of Lords awards ceremony.

Awards host Lord Best said: “It’s absolutely vital that we ensure vulnerable people are safe at home and enable them to live healthier, more independent lives as we shift the emphasis towards preventative services. These awards highlight how Home Improvement Agencies are rising to that challenge.”

Paul Smith, Director of Foundations, said: “What’s striking about this year’s awards is the way in which HIAs across the country are finding innovative ways to maximise the impact of funding and resources. We’re seeing more and more collaboration and that can only bode well for the integration of housing, health and social care.”

Background on Homelife Carlisle:

Homelife Carlisle is a Home Improvement Agency, provided by Carlisle City Council. Accredited by Foundations and set up in 2013, we help people maintain their home and carry out repairs, major works and adaptations. Our key aim is to help people remain independent and warm, safe and well at home. More information can be found at www.carlisle.gov.uk/homelife

What is Foundations?

Foundations is the national body for home improvement agency and handypersons services and DFG and is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It provides support to 200 not-for-profit home improvement and handyperson service providers in England who cover more than 80% of local authority areas.

What are Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs)?

  • Home improvement and handyperson service providers are local organisations dedicated to helping older people, people with disabilities, and vulnerable people to live in safety and with dignity in their own homes.
  • Services are focused on ensuring that existing housing is fit for purpose and that vulnerable people, predominantly homeowners, are able to continue living independently for as long as possible.

How can I find my nearest Home Improvement Agency (HIA)?

Visit www.foundations.uk.com or find your nearest HIA at www.findmyhia.org.uk

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