The Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency (LHIA) are very pleased to announce that after a successful one year contract, our Housing Options Advice Service has been extended.
This recently funded provision has taken some time to become an established referral route for partners from social services, NHS, charities and housing providers but has, over the last year, become an essential referral route to help older people from all walks of life to better understand and get help to access, a varied number of housing options.
Home owners benefit as they do not automatically receive local authority support when faced with housing issues and subsequently, are often left to fend for themselves when deciding what to do for the best.
Council tenants also benefit as the Housing Options Advisor helps them access information that will enable them to apply for better and more suitable housing.
LA housing authorities are supported as the Housing Options Advisor can ensure that they have all the information from tenants that they need to make the right decisions when allocating property.
Initially, the service was funded by Lincolnshire County Council and First Stop ( who specialise in advice regarding HO for older people). Since July 2013, following a successful one years trial, Lincolnshire County Council have decided to continue to fund the service in recognition of the growing needs of elderly residents to think about their home in the long and short term and receive information and advice that will help them make the right choices.
Here are some recent examples of “Movers” that best describes the service:
- 1. LHIA received a referral from social services to help them re house a council tenant who had not been coping to live independently, had become a victim to anti- social behaviour and was highly vulnerable.
The intervention involved finding the right person to be able to make a decision within the local housing authority and ensuring in turn, that they had the right information to make the most effective decision for my client, as follows:
- · Obtaining supporting letters from local Police, GP and referring partners (social services) in support of his move
- · Gathering information about the tenant’s rights and obligations under the terms of his tenancy and ensuring he understood procedures and obligations, for example: his obligation to pay himself for any cleaning/clearing of his current property, the cost of the removal etc.
- · Researching benevolent funds that might help him cover the above costs
- · Enquiring about volunteers who could help pack/unpack
- · Arranging quotes via the LHIA Handyperson register for a low cost local move
- · Liaising with everybody concerned to ensure the flow of information at all times
He is now suitably housed and therefore less likely to need further costly social or medical intervention
- 2. An internal LHIA referral to help a home owner living in poor conditions to access alternative sheltered local housing. The initial enquiry to LHIA had been regarding a home improvement to their home which was in a state of dilapidation. Clearly, there would be little advantage in the expenditure as the home was unsuitable for her health needs, so she was referred to the Housing Options Advisor to see she could be helped to obtain more suitable housing.
- · I referred the case to a LOCAL team in SKDC (Housing Support Team) who’s role is to provide housing support for those who need it (private or LA) and who have a much better understanding of local housing policy and allocation in the customers area
- · They helped her complete a housing application form
- · She was then allocated sheltered housing by her LA, a very speedy response to her needs
- · Once a house was allocated, I proceeded to find benevolent funding to pay for carpets and approached the local community fund for white goods, as the customer had no independent financial means to cover the costs.
She is now suitably housed and therefore less likely to need further costly social or medical intervention
- 3. Received a referral from social services to help a couple find and move into more suitable property as the husband was suffering from progressive dementia and Parkinson’s and his unsteadiness was dangerous, especially as the bathroom was directly at the top of the stairs, so every time it was used, he had to be escorted to avoid a fall.
- · I researched private and social possible solutions and sent details to them.
- · One of the properties was within their price range, so they decided to quickly make an offer which was accepted.
- · I offered to support the move itself, including accessing volunteers to help pack/unpack
About to agree a moving in date to a more suitable property which will result in them less likely to need costly social or medical intervention.