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New Accessible Homes Guide Supports Partnership Working
A new publication provides guidance for local partnerships in helping older and disabled people achieve independence in their own homes. The Accessible Homes Guide produced by the Housing Consultancy Partnership takes into account the social model of disability as well as the services that allow independent living. The governments Care and Support Bill 2012 placed a responsibility on local authorities for providing information and advice so that people can make informed choices and for providing services or steps that prevent, delay or reduce the need for care and support. Changes to the welfare budget have presented new challenges while the establishment of Local Authority Health and Wellbeing Boards along with adult social care funding have created an environment for more joined up thinking on the needs of older and disabled people.
Historically the responsibility for improving accessibility to homes has rested with Environmental Health and Housing Professionals working with Occupational Therapists, it is now clear that a broader approach is required. The guide gives examples of successful partnership projects that have been undertaken around the country. In Bristol the new “accessible homes” service provides a full range of solutions from minor aids and adaptations to rehousing and major adaptations. While in the midlands the Walsall Adapted Housing Service (WAHS) works with social landlords and the Local Authority to link adapted homes for social rent with disabled people needing accessible accommodation. The toolkit that accompanies the guide can be used to assess existing services and plans to ensure a joined up approach to what has become a major issue.
Click here to view the Accessible Homes modules on RIAMS.