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Council to consider new Housing Assistance Policy

7th January 2024 @ 6:06am – by Cheshire West and Chester Council
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From Cheshire West and Chester Council ....

Cheshire West and Chester Council's Cabinet will be asked to consider a proposed new Housing Assistance Policy at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 10 January 2024.

The policy sets out the range of financial assistance available to enable people to live safely and as independently as possible in their own homes.

All local authorities must provide Disabled Facilities Grants to all people who are eligible. These grants can be used to provide adaptations to enable independent living, including ramps, stair lifts, level access showers and door widening.

The Council is also able to offer a wider range of discretionary financial assistance, for disabled adaptations and to help homeowners whose homes are falling into disrepair but cannot afford to make the repairs themselves. To provide this discretionary assistance, local authorities must have a Housing Assistance Policy.

The proposed new Housing Assistance Policy that will be considered by Cabinet sets out the eligibility criteria, conditions and application processes for the various forms of assistance, to enable people and professionals to access the information and apply for assistance as easily as possible. It aims to make application processes as efficient and straightforward as possible.

The current policy was adopted in 2018 and has now been reviewed due to updated Government guidance, increases in costs of works, more complex cases, and in response to an increase in people living in fuel poverty and people affected by damp and mould in their homes.

Councillor Christine Warner, Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Safer Communities, said: "The new Housing Assistance Policy has been developed with partners and informed by the views of residents. The policy aims to ensure people do not stay in hospital for longer than they need to, due to their home not meeting their needs. Ultimately, we want to enable people to stay living in their own home for as long as possible if that is their wish."

The proposed policy has been developed with a range of partners including the Home Improvement Agency and Foundations UK.

The Policy has been informed by the feedback of residents and stakeholders, who were asked for their views during a consultation which ran over a 12-week period from Monday 19 June 2023 until Sunday 10 September 2023. The consultation findings and feedback on the key messages are now available on the Council website here.

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