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Making the Most of Adapted Housing Stock Dave Arkle Housing Manager Amber Valley Borough Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Making the Most of Adapted Housing Stock Dave Arkle Housing Manager Amber Valley Borough Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making the Most of Adapted Housing Stock Dave Arkle Housing Manager Amber Valley Borough Council

2 Amber Valley Amber Valley – Derbyshire authority with a mix of rural and urban areas Historically contribution of £550,000 from own funds 1493 Number of adaptations completed over the last eight years Presentation is very much the product of work completed by a number of partners in the area specifically Futures Homescape, Derbyshire County Council, Metropolitan Home Improvement Agency & iDecide Older Persons Housing Advice Service

3 Daniel’s story Daniel had a car accident that left him paralysed from the neck down which left him in hospital for a long time He was under 18 with a family He wanted to leave hospital and be with his family FHL supported the move to one of their general needs properties that had a through floor lift and other adaptations Tenancy in trust with his mother until he was 18 and other adaptations are being completed. Being at home is making a difference to his quality of life Completing other adaptations but far more minor and have enabled us to protect the previous investment

4 Motivations for Thinking Differently Competing demands for the Council’s capital programme ‘we have put in the same adaptation in the same property 5 times now’ Amber Valley Community Care worker Projected increases in older people that will need adaptations Is there any point providing an adaptation where the applicant cannot afford to heat and maintain their home and we can offer an alternative that will help the person to keep safe and warm in their later years? Levels of disrepair in owner occupied homes especially bungalows We cannot afford to deliver quick adaptations without increasing options as an alternative There are lots of adapted properties out there

5 Role of Futures Homescape Futures Homescape (formerly Amber Valley Housing) – separate entity, but with strong links to the Council in areas of shared interest Homelessness contractor and manage choice based lettings Development Partner Has a high proportion of stock designated for older persons many of which have previously been adapted AVBC pay for majority of adaptations in FHL stock Historically between 40 and 60% of applications from FHL tenants despite being only 12% of the overall stock but this has dropped significantly We want to keep recycling the adapted properties

6 Case Study D’s health declined and needed a wheelchair, her property could not be adapted to meet her needs (aged 41). Instead of adapting her existing property, she was offered a property which was about to become vacant which had a ground floor extension, with an additional bedroom and wet room downstairs. The property was also suitable for her 2 daughters and partner to maintain a family lifestyle, and had enough room for her carer to stay

7 What Have We Been Doing? Challenging traditional thinking and trying to provide housing advice prior to assessment Circulating property details of adapted properties amongst Adult Care teams and advocates of disabled people Using community champions that have downsized to promote the concept of moving to more suitable properties Lots and lots of networking and promoting messages about issues facing asset rich, cash poor owner occupiers Commissioned a DVD ‘Happy in Your Home’ that can be viewed via DCC website commodation_and_housing/default.asp commodation_and_housing/default.asp

8 Use of Home Options ‘Nice flat in quiet rural location with country side views. Bus route on main road. Flat access shower installed. Benefits from a lifeline alarm system which is monitored 24 hours per day. Our visiting support service is available if required. ’

9 Thinking Differently New Homes Bonus has been earmarked to support strategic housing purposes NHB used to support new development, tackling empty properties and DFG, but can only be spent once £20K = 1 new house or 5 level access showers DFG does not support growth FHL by recycling adapted properties can potentially release funding for new affordable housing development

10 Case Study Mrs W required adaptations to her home but an adapted property had become available on her street – (no. 29) she gave her up property at no 5 (not adapted) and moved into No. 29, thus making use of the adaptations in the property – (stairlift and level access shower)

11 Health and Social Care Raised on Total Place Agenda to get buy in from Clinical Commissioning Group representative and Adult Care This has paved the way for better integration of HIA and OT Shared investment in the HIA Through public health leadership conversations are taking place locally that may lead to health paying for door widening and/or other measures for those that are stuck in a care environment which will lead to big savings for health/social care Part of a plan to improve awareness of housing within Adult Care and Health

12 Process Improvements All FHL referrals to DCC are checked by allocations team to offer internal support and confirm that property is suitable for adaptation Triage service delivered by HIA which although in its infancy will pull in a range of housing advice components, so that when an OT or CCW makes the assessment they are confident that other options have already been explored This will reduce the cancellation rate which has been as high as 20% Use of second homes money to support discretionary payments to help eliminate barriers for private tenants and owner occupiers willing to move to already adapted properties Benefit of pushing fuel poverty

13 Outcomes OT’s and CCW’s embrace a wider assessment of housing need and refer into support services which has reduced the number of referrals for DFG FHL provide financial incentives to their own tenants to move linked to Welfare Reform In 2012/13 FHL re let 46 adapted properties Several needed small further adaptations, but nothing like the number that would have been required otherwise Better connections with Hospital discharge teams Referrals dropped significantly Some really happy grateful people that did not know they could access social housing

14 Case Study Tenant S had a disability and needed to downsize following some of her family growing up and moving out. This left a couple and one child in a 3 bed adapted house with a ground floor extension housing an additional bedroom and wet room. She was supported to move to a 2 bedroom bungalow, thus avoiding the “bedroom tax” The adapted house was then offered to another FHL tenant whose wife was in a nursing home and couldn’t return home until their home was adapted. Instead of completing expensive adaptations the couple moved to the home above vacated by tenant S. The couple also had 2 grown up sons that lived with them, so would make the most of the 3 bedrooms upstairs.

15 Next Steps? More confidence to now transform the speed of delivery Assess and evaluate the triage process Increase the level of integration with Adult Care and Health to improve housing support to those that need it CCG commissioning a process of identifying those with long term health conditions so we can be more proactive than reactive Fight to ensure that as many properties that have adaptations are made available for people like Daniel who don’t want to be in hospital and want to be at home with their family. Oversight of issues cause by Welfare Reform for properties that have received expensive adaptations

16 Thank you for listening Dave Arkle


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