There are still many organisations and potential clients that are unaware of the existence of Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs).
HIAs offer a valuable service to older, disabled or vulnerable homeowners and private sector tenants who need to repair, improve or adapt their homes. They help people live independently in their own homes, warm, safe and secure. HIAs are small, locally based, not-for-profit organisations. There are 271 HIAs in England. In the year ending April 2004, they helped 40,380 people to remain independently within their own homes by facilitating over £91 million worth of repairs, improvements and adaptations.
They also provide advice and support on benefits entitlement, and on how to fund the works. Many operate additional services on energy efficiency and warm homes, crime prevention and accident reduction, gardening and decorating. The Government estimates that over five million homes in the private sector are non-decent, and over a million of these are occupied by vulnerable individuals. Older people, disabled people and people living on low incomes are more likely to be living in a home that is unfit for human habitation or in significant disrepair.
We are also an ageing population, making an increasing call on health and social services, including residential care. In reality, though, most people want to remain in their own homes wherever possible, and Home Improvement Agencies help people to do this. HIAs offer Advice, Help with Financial Issues and Help with Technical Issues.
HIAs have also developed: Hospital discharge schemes; Handyperson schemes to carry out small repairs to the home; Security and crime prevention measures; Gardening, painting and decorating schemes; Home safety and preventing accidents advice; Energy efficiency and affordable warmth measures
Foundations are the ODPM appointed National Coordinating Body for Home Improvement Agencies across England & Wales.
Tel: 01457 891 909