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Carers and Housing – addressing their needs Peter Fletcher 23 March 2010

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1 Carers and Housing – addressing their needs Peter Fletcher 23 March 2010

2 What did we do An initial piece of fact finding work for the Princess Royal Trust for Carers (with funding support from the Department of Health) about: Whether carers see housing as an issue What are the housing issues carers identify What is happening to address the issues Development issues that still need tackling Responses from: individual carers/carers groups; national organisations providing services for carers; local authority carer and housing leads

3 Key findings Suitable and affordable housing, and related services, are critical to the wellbeing of carers and of their families Carers do not always know where to go for help on housing issues Although progress is being made to recognise and address the housing issues of carers in their own right, more needs to be done

4 The housing issues for carers 1.Where to go for help 2.Lettings policies taking carers into account 3.Inheritance issues for carers in rented housing 4.Staying Put: equipment, adaptations, repairs and improvements 5.Housing support and technology 6.Options for moving home 7.Funding issues

5 1. Where to go for help Issues: Housing advice for carers an undeveloped area Action: Developing housing dimension of advice services for carers Ensuring carers know about advice services available

6 2. Lettings Policies Issues: Waiting list priority for carers Separate bedroom for carers Living in suitable location and environment Standards and overcrowding Action: Growing number of local authorities and housing associations now taking needs of carers into account in relation to lettings policies e.g. allowing extra bedroom for family carer

7 3. Inheritance Issues Issues: Inheritance rights if carer has not been made a joint tenant Carers under occupying a property on relatives death Action: Informing carers about inheritance issues in relation to rented housing

8 4. Staying Put Issues: Finding out what equipment is needed Small repairs Complexity of adaptations process Eligibility for adaptations Funding adaptations for home owners Action: Information about equipment Handyperson services Timescales for completing adaptations Funding for adaptations Home Improvement Agencies

9 5. Housing support and technology Issues: The need for housing support Knowledge of community alarm and telecare services Action: Housing support services for carers Use of community alarm and telecare services

10 Good practice example Carers Support North Wiltshire (CSNW) and Westlea Housing Association (WHA) found that over 45% of carers on the CSNW database lived in WHA properties and that over 40% of these were parent carers. As a result, WHA has funded a volunteer co- ordinator/activities worker for 3 years to help sustain tenancies & support carers

11 6. Options for moving home Issues: Availability of adapted housing People wanting to move from the family home Housing choices to keep carers of people with high care needs together Action: Accessible housing registers Impact of personalisation Private Sector leasing schemes Inter authority transfers Housing support for moving home Specialist housing

12 Good practice example MOVING ON in Dorset provides support workers to either help arrange adaptations if a carer wishes to stay in the family home, or to act as an expert moving planner to help carers and their family move home. They help with visiting potential properties, changing utility bills, house clearance and the actual move. Initial consultation is free and charges for the moving planner are reinvested in the charity.

13 Good practice example Stanton Lodge in Swindon is a development of 14 apartments run by Methodist Homes for couples where one of the couple has dementia. It is linked to a 60 place nursing home on the same site. Tenure is leasehold or shared ownership. A range of care and support options can be purchased on demand

14 Good practice example Saffron Housing Association in Norfolk, in conjunction with the county council has set up model of leasing properties from private landlords for people with a learning disability wishing to move from the family home. Properties are adapted as needed and assistive technology, care and support services are provided. Feedback from family carers has been positive – see Case Study 33 from the Department of Health housing website: oices/Housing/

15 7. Funding and affordability Issues: Impact for carer if person moves into a care home Impact of assets for changing tenure from owning to renting Paying HB on 2 properties to enable adaptations work Action: Care home moves Using housing benefit to pay mortgage interest Impact of assets on changing tenure

16 Future policy and practice issues Raising housing for carers up the agenda and training housing staff Info on housing as part of carers assessment Addressing inheritance rights for carers Lettings policies Treatment of property assets when changing from owning to renting Housing benefit issues that impact on carers Assessment & provision of adaptations

17 Sources of information The study provides contact details for: Advice lines for carers that include housing Specialist housing advice services Other useful services e.g. Disabled Living Foundation; Home Improvement Agencies Contacts for good practice examples

18 How to get a copy of the study To get your copy of the study Carers and Housing – addressing their needs download it from The Princess Royal Trust for Carers Professionals website:

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