Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Foundations to take home improvements for older and disabled people to the next level

Foundations to take home improvements for older and disabled people to the next level

COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT News Release (190) issued by The Government News Network on 22 July 2008

Home improvements for older and disabled people will be supported and promoted by 'Foundations' after they were awarded the contract to run the national body for Home Improvement Agencies, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Baroness Andrews announced today.

Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) help thousands of older or disabled to remain in their own home, living independently and safely by advising on home improvements and adaptations and helping them to apply for local authority grants or loans. They also help to identify reputable local contractors to do the work, and oversee the work to ensure that their clients are completely satisfied.

Following a European Journal competition for the contract, Foundations emerged as the successful bidder, winning the chance to support the HIA sector for the next three years.

As part of the contract, Foundations will be tasked with providing advice and support to the sector as well as promoting and raising the profile of the good work being carried out by HIAs across the country. They will also be responsible for representing the movement in dealing with government and for increasing capacity within the sector.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Baroness Andrews said:

"I am delighted to announce that Communities and Local Government has appointed Foundations to provide a National Body for Home Improvement Agencies for a further three years.

"There is an important job to be done in helping to support the delivery of Lifetime homes, lifetime neighbourhoods, our national strategy for housing in an ageing society, as well as in providing support to the sector in the vital work they do to enable older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes."

Notes to Editors

1. The Government's commitment to supporting a national co-ordinating body for Home Improvement Agencies was outlined in the government's Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods, housing strategy for an ageing society in February 2008.

2. The contract has been awarded following a competitive procurement exercise conducted in accordance with the Restricted Procedure, under the EC Directive, as implemented by UK Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (OJEU), and has been awarded to the current contractor, Foundations.

3. The proportion of the population over 75 years old covered by HIAs has risen from 61 per cent in 1999 to 92 per cent in 2006.

4. 2004/05 data show that HIAs in England dealt with 103,000 enquiries where substantial advice was given, and in 38,700 cases, this led to work being carried out by the HIA. More information can be found at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingmanagementcare/housingolder/homeimprovementagencies/

News Releases: http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsroom

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