Rural services

Rural HIAs

Cornwall Home Solutions is an in-house Home Improvement Agency (HIA) of Cornwall Council. It has 66 staff based in three locality teams covering the whole of Cornwall.

CHS offers a range of housing solutions for older and disabled people, including: minor adaptations & equipment, major adaptations, handyperson services, access to finance (such as grants & loans), general information, advice and signposting, energy efficiency advice, winter wellness campaigns, support to relocate & housing options advice.

Alternative heating systems

Warm Homes Fund in Gloucestershire - Over £5m secured for more than 1,000 Gloucestershire homes to be improved by the installation of heating measures between 2017 and 2020.

Will help many who are “off-grid” by helping install energy efficient oil-fired and LPG central heating systems.

Oil-buying cooperative

Operates in Scarborough and Ryedale. Oil is an expensive source of heating fuel and many rural residents do not have the same facilities to undertake price comparisons as with gas and electricity.

Residents can save on their heating bills by being part of an oil buying cooperative. The more members the oil buying cooperatives has, the better the savings that can be achieved. Details here.

Affordable finance

Many HIAs in the south west work with Wessex Resolutions CIC to offer their clients access to affordable loans.

For example:
  • If the main source of heating in your home relies on oil, Calor gas, LPG, wood or coal, a Somerset Fuel Loan may be available to enable you to spread the cost of your bulk buy over six months.
  • Loans to fund repairs such as replacement boilers, installation of central heating, window replacement, roof and thatch repairs, electrical and plumbing work, structural work, damp remedy, and energy efficiency improvements. Typical 4.2% APR

Collaborative hub


Integrated information and advice South Norfolk. Flexible hot-desking space for frontline agencies (statutory and third sector) – facilitating greater information sharing and shared solutions.

Currently 17 partners have staff operating out of the hub. The five district councils jointly funded a pilot hospital discharge service (District Direct). After successful evaluation the service will be funded by health and social care.

Social prescribing

Forest of Dean Council run a Community Wellbeing service and exercise referral scheme. Delivery is out in the community and they use rural locations and housing scheme rooms to allow for access for those that are older and more isolated. Starting to develop dementia friendly communities.

Integrated services

The Districts and Counties in Dorset recognised the need to integrate services to meet the needs of a rural area.
  • Dorset Accessible Homes Service merged the existing:
  • Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs)
  • Telecare services
  • Independent Living Centre
  • Administration of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs)

All services are now accessible through a range of channels including face-to-face, telephone and on-line.

After flood support

Foundations Independent Living Trust raised funding for a Flood Support Officer in Carlisle. His role is to offer extra support to those hit by the floods of December 2015, help them get back in their homes and protect their properties against future disasters.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for flood victims which can pay for things like flood doors, flood barriers, automatic airbrick closures, raising electrics and concrete floors.