In a significant move aimed at improving the quality of life for its residents, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet has given approval to a revised Housing Assistance Policy during their monthly meeting this January.
The recently endorsed policy outlines a diverse range of financial support options intended to help individuals live safely and independently within their own homes. Central to these provisions are the essential Disabled Facilities Grants, mandated for distribution to all eligible individuals across local authorities.
These grants serve as crucial support, addressing the needs of those requiring adaptive measures for independent living. From ramps and stair lifts to level access showers and door widening, the grants cover a spectrum of accommodations necessary for fostering self-sufficiency.
Going beyond the obligatory grants, the Council is proud to offer discretionary financial assistance. This extends not only to adaptations for the disabled but also to homeowners struggling with the upkeep of their residences, unable to bear the financial burden independently. The groundwork for delivering this discretionary aid relies on the establishment of a Housing Assistance Policy, a requirement for all local authorities.
The recently sanctioned Housing Assistance Policy meticulously outlines eligibility criteria, conditions, and application procedures for the various forms of assistance. Its primary goal is to facilitate easy access to information and streamline the application process for both citizens and professionals. Efficiency and simplicity are at the core of its design, seeking to empower individuals to navigate through the assistance framework seamlessly.
The cabinet member responsible for Homes, Planning, and Safer Communities emphasized the significance of the Council’s duty to provide Disabled Facilities Grants. They highlighted the policy’s broader scope in enhancing residents’ lives, stating, “This policy sets out financial assistance that goes beyond these Disabled Facilities Grants. It will make a significant difference to the lives of individuals, enabling them to reside in their homes for a more extended period, which is the optimal situation for everyone.”
This move comes as a response to updated government guidance, rising costs of essential works, complex cases, and an increase in instances of fuel poverty, dampness, and mould affecting households. The previous policy, adopted in 2018, underwent a comprehensive review to align with current challenges and community needs.
Integral to the development of the policy was collaboration with key partners, including the Home Improvement Agency and Foundations UK. The inclusion of various stakeholders and residents in the consultation process, spanning from June 19, 2023, to September 10, 2023, ensured that the policy resonates with the needs and aspirations of the community.
Residents and stakeholders actively participated in shaping the policy, providing valuable feedback during the 12-week consultation period. The Council, committed to transparency, has made the consultation findings and feedback on key messages available on its official website.
As Cheshire West and Chester Council takes steps toward a more inclusive and supportive community, the new Housing Assistance Policy stands as a testament to their commitment to fostering independent living and addressing the evolving needs of their residents. The carefully crafted provisions signal a positive shift towards creating an environment where everyone can thrive, regardless of their unique circumstances.