The new Local Housing Strategy will seek to ensure:
- Independent living is supported in the context of an ageing population and increasing health and social care demand.
- Strategic alignment in supporting care and people in their own homes and provision of adaptations.
- Provision of services for all tenures including care and repair, telecare andvtelehealth. Specialist housing provision is planned and linked to integration of health and social care.
- The future need for care home provision is identified
- Information is provided on how adaptations and adapted properties can enable people to live in their own homes for longer.
- Local initiatives that support prevention and facilitate hospital discharge to home as early as possible are supported.
- Housing can make a particular contribution to the achievement of the nine national health and wellbeing outcomes and in particular
- 1. Outcome 2 – People including those with disabilities or long term conditions, or who are frail are able to live, as far as reasonably practicable, independently and at home or in a homely setting in their community _ through the provision of good quality housing to support a range of needs.
- 2. Outcome 9 – Resources are used effectively in the provision of health and social care- where effective housing solutions can prevent costly health and social care responses.
Grants in Scotland
In Scotland local authorities are responsible for providing grants to home owners for structural adaptations that are essential to a disabled person’s needs. The Scheme of Assistance in Scotland was created by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and places primary responsibility for maintaining homes in good condition on individual property owners.
The Scottish system for applying for grants for home adaptations, such as installing a stairlift, works in a similar way to the DFG system in England and Wales. If you are looking for funding for home alterations for yourself or a relative, you will need to apply to the local council. Tenants should ask their landlord about the help available. The local council will make arrangements to carry out an assessment of your needs.
The amount awarded depends on the local authority. If the council awards a “mandatory grant” (most structural adaptations qualify for this) it must cover 80 percent of the cost of the work. If you receive certain benefits, the grant will cover 100 percent of the cost.
Help to Adapt Scheme
The Help to Adapt scheme was recently introduced by the Scottish Government with the aim of helping older people maintain their independence in their own homes by encouraging them to make alterations to their homes now in anticipation of their needs in the future.
The Help to Adapt initiative is designed for homeowners aged 60 or over who have enough equity in their homes, regardless of their income. To qualify, any outstanding mortgage must be less than 20 percent of the value of the property. The Scottish Government offers loans secured against this equity for the purpose of funding alterations and adaptations that can enable elderly homeowners to stay safe and independent in their own homes as they age.
The maximum loan amount that is available to borrow is £30,000 and the amount homeowners will have to repay is based on the value of the property. There are no monthly interest charges and the loan will only be repaid when the property is sold or the owner dies.
The Help to Adapt team will organise any work that is necessary to make the alterations required and you will be advised by an occupational therapist as to the most suitable ways to adapt your home.
Alterations that qualify for funding are those that help residents carry on performing everyday household tasks, including using the stairs and getting in and out of the bath. Adaptations such as a stairlift, handrails and ramps are included as they can improve the quality of life for older people and give them peace of mind that they can stay living safely in their home.