The Communities and Local Government Committee on Housing for older people concluded in 2018 that “most older people do not plan to move and wish to stay in their current home as long as possible. HIAs and handyperson services, undertaking small repairs, maintenance and adaptations, have a significant role to play in ensuring that the homes of those who ‘stay put’ are comfortable, healthy and safe.”
They recommended that:
The coverage of Home Improvement Agencies (HIA) should be expanded so there is access to at least one HIA with a handyperson service in each local authority area.
Foundations is the UK Government appointed national body for Home Improvement Agencies in England, so it’s part of our job to formally accredit new agencies. It’s completely free of charge and we can also support you to develop your service ready for accreditation.
To become “accredited” you will need to show that you provide:
- a holistic assessment of a person in their own home – including housing, wellbeing and financial issues; and
- support to apply for grants and other funding; and
- signposting/referral to other services; and
- independent technical advice and support to carry out building works, including repairs, improvements and adaptations.
We will also check that you are
- financially robust (passported for organisations holding local public sector contracts);
- of local strategic relevance (holds local public sector contracts or has an advisory board of local stakeholders); and
- if delivering works directly (not using contractors), able to fully mitigate any conflicts of interest.
Each HIA is different, so you may also provide other services like:
- a handyperson service delivering:
- minor adaptations
- home safety checks
- small repairs / odd jobs
- welfare benefit checks
- cold homes assessment
- housing options advice
- support to move home
Being accredited as a HIA shows that you are committed to delivering person-centred services that deliver real outcomes – rather than just providing repairs and adaptations for those fortunate enough to qualify for a grant.
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