From 1 April 2016 the enhanced system of delivering essential housing adaptations such as ramps, handrails, walk-in showers and stair-lifts, will be rolled out across Wales. Enable – Support for Independent Living will make it quicker and easier for people to get help when they need it.
Each year, around £50 million is spent on adapting elderly and disabled people’s homes, helping them to live safely and independently. Often a minor adaptation can prevent the need for hospital admission or allow those who are in hospital to be discharged earlier.
The new simplified system will improve current arrangements by providing three broad levels of assistance based on people’s needs, while providing greater flexibility and reducing bureaucracy.
Lesley Griffiths said:
“Home adaptations enable people to continue to live independently in the homes they love with the dignity they deserve.
“Such preventative measures not only improve people’s overall quality of life, they also reduce avoidable demands on our hard-pressed NHS by preventing emergency admissions to hospitals as a result of falls. Estimates show every pound invested in housing adaptations creates a £7.50 saving for our health and social services.
“The new system will put people first and ensure all applicants receive a better, quicker service irrespective of their age, disability, housing tenure or where they live.”
Cllr Dyfed Edwards, WLGA Housing Spokesperson says:
“We welcome the enhanced system and the way in which it has been developed in partnership with the organisations which will play a key role in its success. We recognise the benefits the enhanced system will bring to those who need help to live safely and independently, and we are committed to working with the Welsh Government and others to roll out the enhanced system from April 2016.”
Stuart Ropke, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru added:
“We welcome the additional £4m investment for housing adaptations. This type of housing investment has the potential to really change lives.
“We also welcome the new simplified system, which has been developed in partnership with organisations that will play a key role in the delivery, including housing associations.”