Assistance for property owners and private tenants to repair homes

OVER £235,000 worth of funding could be agreed on Tuesday to support a range of activities to help property owners and private tenants to repair their homes.

Councillors will be asked to allocate £149,000 to the Social Care Integration Joint Board to fund a Small Repairs and Home Support Service. 

The region-wide service will be for vulnerable people who meet published criteria (homeowner or tenant of private landlord) and who are also one of these: Over 60; Disabled; Learning difficulties; Mental health problems; Victim of domestic abuse

The delivery of the service focuses on minor adjustments and repairs that promotes independent living.

The work also encompasses the service provided by the ‘HandyVan’, including the training and recruitment of volunteers to carry out the works. From April to October last year, over 1000 tasks had been completed in the homes of clients because of HandyVan referrals.

Councillors will also be asked to allocate £15,000 to the Social Care Integration Joint Board to assist in funding the Dementia Friendly Design Project.  This project allows for practical steps to be taken in the homes of people suffering from Dementia, such as replacing cupboard doors in kitchens to glass doors, to allow the clients to see straight into cupboards, rather than having to open the doors and so reduces the number of injuries in the home.

In the first half of this financial year, nearly one hundred tasks were carried out, highlighting both the need and the effect of the service.

The third part of funding that the Communities Committee will be asked to agree is £37,400 to the Social Care Integration Joint Board for the funding of Food Train Extra.

This fund assists older people with non-skilled tasks in and around the home, such as checking smoke alarms, duvet changing, freezer defrosting and such like.  These tasks are carried out by volunteers and demonstrates our Council’s commitment to protecting our most vulnerable people.  For the period April 2018 to October 2018, 815 jobs were carried out via Food Train Extra.

The final part of the funding jigsaw that members will be asked to agree to is the £35,000 to allow the sustained development of the Trusted Trader Scheme.  The scheme of assistance has funded Trusted Trader since 2014, allowing the scheme to develop and grow.

The money given by the Committee will primarily be used to fund a post within Trading Standards that will allow the post holder to attract new members to the Trusted Trader scheme and ensure quality standards are being met by existing members.

There is currently 181 members of the scheme, which local businesses sign up to after being vetted by our Council’s Trading Standards service to prove they are a fit and proper contractor.  Businesses can then display the Trusted Trader logo on their vehicles and uniform to inform those that they’re doing work for that they are part of the scheme.  Their work is reviewed by customers, and feedback is passed to Trading Standards to analyse, with any poor reviews being the subject of scrutiny.