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IMPROVING ADAPTATION SERVICES Local Adaptation Agreements Sheila Mackintosh Mackintosh OConnor Associates.

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Presentation on theme: "IMPROVING ADAPTATION SERVICES Local Adaptation Agreements Sheila Mackintosh Mackintosh OConnor Associates."— Presentation transcript:

1 IMPROVING ADAPTATION SERVICES Local Adaptation Agreements Sheila Mackintosh Mackintosh OConnor Associates

2 Background National study of adaptation protocols – Making it work smoothly 1 Local partnership agreement in Bristol Local partnership agreement in Devon 2 Report on protocol for Westminster City Council 2 Review of aids and adaptations service in Dorset 2 Redesign of adaptations service for Bristol City Council 1. With Frances Heywood 2. With The Housing Consultancy Partnership

3 What are partners looking for? ResidentsHousing associationsLocal authorities One point of contact See benefit from protocol Control expenditure Quick decisions / rapid service Increase tenant satisfaction Bring in more resources Good communication Reduce risk Speed up service delivery Able to wash Value for money Better communication Be safe Control work done Equitable service Be independent/have dignity Make better use of stock

4 Key issue - funding Loss of housing association direct funding (£29m pa versus one-off payment into DFG pot in 2007 of £1.5m) Increased take-up of DFG by HA tenants Funding challenges: LAs, HAs Not enough in DFG pot No responsibility for HAs to report on adaptation budgets / expenditure No national guidance - localism

5 Should HAs contribute ? YESNO Adaptations a core function - high proportion of disabled tenants They do not have sufficient reserves or Recycled Capital Grant Should not leave tenants to navigate complex pathways / long queues No legal requirement Joint working / shared intelligence / better procurement will lower prices and give better solutions The poorest in society should not subsidise the most vulnerable Council tenants pay for adaptations through HRA Tenants pay for adaptations twice – through Council tax and through rent Need more involvement in what is done to their stock and joined up thinking about adaptations/development/ downsizing/SH/ECH Nationals cannot manage different policies in different areas

6 HA contributions essential In some areas HAs dominate DFG spending HA lack of engagement lengthens queues for everyone Core function – need proper budgets Issues of fairness/equality (consistency for tenants, Council tenants v HAs, between HAs themselves) No input of resources leads to insufficient training, no planning or strategic thinking - just a maintenance thing Need joined up policies for accessible homes Agreements very time consuming to set up and to monitor Hard for LAs to enforce compliance

7 HA use of the DFG

8 HA budgets – Devon and Bristol The smallest associations are missing as the focus was on the housing associations with the most stock. In Bristol by 2011/12 many HAs had already increased their budgets as a result of the protocol

9 Local agreements – can one size fit all? Number and diversity of housing associations – local, regional, national, LSVTs Bristol/Devon = over 40 HAs @ 15 hold most of the stock Westminster = 12 HAs own 90% of the stock

10 Different funding models MODELDETAIL 1. HA pays up to a threshold e.g. Up to £1,000 or £2,500 Anything above referred for DFG 2.Two tier approach HA pays 100% up to a threshold - share costs above the threshold e.g. 50% over £1,000 3.HA pays 100% No limit - or cap on budget and once budget committed referred for DFG 4.Type of work e.g. HA does all level access showers without DFG 5.Variable ratesEach HA negotiates its own rate

11 Changes in HA budgets after agreement Bristol Launch of local agreement April 2010

12 Benefits of agreements Bristol 12 out of 15 HAs signed up Devon 13 HAs, 9 LHAs and DCC signed up HA budgets increase / DFG demands decrease Communication/sharing intelligence/trust Consistency and fast-track for minor works – reduced demand on OTs Tenants - direct route and support Better maintenance/recycling Better procurement/VFM More use of housing options/rehousing

13 Problems that remain Agreements take time and effort to set up Sign-up only the start – need on-going management Easier in smaller unitary authorities Non-compliance – LSVTs and nationals Staff changes mean benefits lost Budgets not secure Monitoring data hard to obtain Tenant input vital – scrutiny groups

14 Everyone at the Bristol Housing Partnership Management sub group thought it had been a really good project - good outcomes for tenants as well as staff, due to better communication with Bristol City Council and OTs.

15 A WAY FORWARD? A customer focused approach that brings services together

16 What people want Comprehensive, accessible information about solutions Help to understand and evaluate the options Ability to see and try solutions Help to assess how they might resolve personal needs Quick and appropriate service once preferred option chosen

17 What is needed? Simpler processes Quicker service Breakdown of silos / professional boundaries End to end service

18 Examples Dorset Knowlsey Bristol

19 Dorset proposed structure Customer adviser- facilitator The healthy living zone The aids and adaptations zone The safety zone The transport zone The leisure and connections zone The financial and benefits zone The meeting room and consultation room The skills training and education zone The guest agencys zone The café and hire a café bar zone


21 CIL Services Knowlsey Centre for Independent Living Sensory Impairment Community Loan Store Integrated Adaptations Team Equipment Showroom Wheelchair Services Home Improvement Agency Childrens Services 3 rd Sector Age Concern Princess Royal Carers Trust Advocacy Hub Older Peoples Voice User Led Organisation


23 Getting the message out

24 Bristol - Home Design Centre



27 Barriers to change Defence - positional power, continued employment, budgetary control and professional barriers Inertia - ossified systems, procedures and people Pressure - unable to resource – people and money, day job difficult enough Issue invisible - or relegated by corporate priorities

28 Looking forward Need to meet the needs of people with disabilities in all tenures DFGs are only the tip of the iceberg Inclusive approach vital – including needs of those not entitled to financial support Need for multi agency working and planning Centre of excellence / learning for professionals One stop shop Not a hidden service Scope to involve other partners Mainstream

29 Contact details Sheila Mackintosh Mackintosh OConnor Associates Mob: 07920-260616

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