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Thursday, 19 April 2012
Policy to help people live independently in their own homes
New guidelines have been produced by Cheshire East Council as part of its continued pledge to support people to live independently.
The authority’s Cabinet has agreed to implement a new private sector housing financial assistance policy, which sets out what sort of help the Council will offer to older people and people with disabilities to repair and adapt their homes.
The policy is relevant to owner-occupiers and landlords in private sector housing.
Housing conditions are closely linked with physical and mental health and statistics show that 45 per cent of accidents take place in the home and around 10 per cent of all falls in older people result in injury.
However, it is hoped that improving conditions, such as indoor temperatures and tackling damp, will have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing.
Councillor Steve Wilkinson, Cabinet support member with responsibility for prosperity, said: “Although there is much new housing in Cheshire East, this is a key opportunity to improve existing homes and also the health and mental wellbeing of our residents.
“I would like to think that we could see a reduction in the number of people going into care because their homes will be better prepared.
“Everyone has the right to a decent home and private sector owners should be responsible for maintaining their own properties.
“However, we do appreciate that some owners, particularly the most vulnerable, do not have the resources to repair or improve their homes – and this is when this Council can play an important role in providing assistance.”
More than £1.4m has been approved to implement the policy. This will be used to:
· Remove the most severe health and safety risks for vulnerable homeowners;
· Tackle fuel poverty;
· Enable people with disabilities to live independently; and
· Bring empty homes back into economic use and increase the supply of affordable housing.
The policy will help to reduce risk of home accidents, improve health and wellbeing, reduce fear of crime and increase opportunities to access suitable housing.