NEWS AND POLICY UPDATE:
Information for the providers and commissioners of housing related services for older and disabled people
- MORE MONEY FOR NEW HOMES – PLUS CHANGES TO HOUSING FINANCE AND ALLOCATIONS
The Government has diverted funding from other Departments to put an extra £1.5 billion into building 20,000 social rented and affordable homes during 09-11. Other housing measures announced in ‘Building Britain’s Future’ include housing allocation system changes to enable authorities to prioritise people with local connections and who have been on the waiting list for a long time, plus nationwide choice based lettings to enable people to move around the country. There will also be reform of the Housing Revenue Account and a ‘crackdown’ on misuse of social rented housing eg. illegal subletting. There is no mention of money being available to address poor condition in the existing stock.
This report is about public spending in general, noting that “Over the coming years there will need to be even sharper reforms with tough choices about where to target investment and a determination to get value for money from every pound spent.” www.hmg.gov.uk/buildingbritainsfuture.aspx
- 100% MINISTERIAL CHANGEOVER AT COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (CLG)
Baroness Andrews, who as housing minister championed housing and ageing within CLG, has stepped down from the Government. Dudley MP Ian Austin takes on the portfolio for housing, regeneration and planning and John Healey, MP for Rotherham, is the Minister of State with housing responsibility. Baroness Andrews has taken up a new position as Chair of English Heritage.
- HOUSING OUR AGEING POPULATION (‘HAPPI’) INNOVATION PANEL SET UP
Under the auspices of the Homes and Communities Agency a ‘high level’ panel, chaired by Lord Best, has been set up to consider what action is required to ensure that new housing meets the needs and aspirations of the older people of the future. Largely design focused, the panel will look across Europe for good practice. www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/Housing-Ageing-Population-Panel-Innovation
- A YOUNGER GENERATION STUCK AT HOME & NUMBER OF OVER 90’s TRIPLES
Nearly a third of young men (29% of 20- 34 yrs old) and a fifth of young women (18%) are living with their parents. These figures are revealed in the annual Office for National Statistics ‘state of the nation' report for 2008. Levels were highest for 20-24 yr olds with 52% of men and 37% of women living with their parents. There has also been a threefold rise in the population aged 90 and over in Great Britain, increasing from around 125,000 in 1971 to around 417,000 in 2007. By 2031, there will be more than 1.1 million people aged 90 and over. www.statistics.gov.uk/socialtrends39/
- HANDYPERSON SERVICES: MONEY FROM THE HOME OFFICE
£6m has been allocated to a ‘Safer Homes Fund’ by the Home Office with the objective of increasing home security and reducing burglary rates in 90 target areas. Revenue grants of £10k - £100k for 12 months are anticipated. Deadline for bids: 31st July. http://grantsadmin.co.uk/saferhomes/
- MONEY FOR HANDYPERSON SERVICES FOR ALL LOCAL AUTHORITIES & 19 GET EXTRA FUNDS
Communities and Local Government have confirmed the allocation to each local authority to expand their local handyperson services. CLG has also announced the outcome of the Part B Bids for innovative and enhanced services for older people with 19 LAs awarded funds. Arrangements for the monitoring and evaluation of the increased provision are being finalised.
- PARK HOMES
A growing number of older people are living in park homes. CLG has published four new factsheets which give key information and basic guidance for people who use their park home as a permanent residence. They cover; Rights and Obligations, Selling a home, Pitch fees and Residents Associations. www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/residentsrightsfactsheet
. CLG are also currently consulting on a new framework for dispute resolution (until end August 09).
- SALE AND RENT BACK SCHEMES COME UNDER FSA REGULATION
From 1st July 09, the Financial Services Authority will regulate schemes whereby homeowners sell their property to a company at a less than market price then rent back their home, usually for a limited period. This will be an interim measure before fuller controls are introduced in 2010. The measure follows a high profile campaign that highlighted how some vulnerable homeowners have been exploited by the market. www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Communication/PR/2009/071.shtml
- FREE GUIDE TO COST EFFECTIVE IMPROVEMENTS TO HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH SIGHT LOSS
Thomas Pocklington Trust has published Housing for People with Sight Loss – a Practical Guide to Improving Existing Homes, which clearly sets out simple, cost effective ways to improve homes for older people with sight loss. Most people over the age of sixty experience some deterioration in their vision, so keeping sight in mind and applying these checklists would be good practice for all providers of housing services. www.pocklington-trust.org.uk/news/news/news_channels/research/gpg4.htm
- LONDON CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WAY ON LIFETIME HOMES STANDARDS IN NEW HOMES
The new London Mayor’s Housing Strategy includes a commitment to improving the design standards of all new homes, both public and private, and it retains the requirement brought in under the previous administration for all new homes of any tenure to meet Lifetime Homes Standards. Another proposal in the Strategy which is potentially worrying for older people is a promise to reduce ‘under occupation’ of social rented homes by two thirds. www.london.gov.uk/mayor/housing/strategy/docs/london-housing-strategy09.pdf
- SUPPORTING PEOPLE SERVICES SAVE OVER £6 FOR EVERY £1 SPENT ON OLDER PEOPLE
Communities and Local Government commissioned research by Capgemini concludes that investment in packages of housing related support can result in cost savings elsewhere. The client group category with the highest cost benefit was ‘older people receiving floating support and other older people’ where expenditure of £97.3m resulted in savings of £628m ie. £6 to £1. This category includes services provided by home improvement agencies. Savings across all categories were £2 for every £1 spent. The national financial benefits model has been adapted to produce a spreadsheet for use by Local Authorities to evidence the value of housing related support services at a local level. www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/financialbenefitsresearch
HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE NEWS
- RADICAL CHANGES AHEAD FOR SOCIAL CARE – GREEN PAPER
Shaping the Future of Care Together sets out the Government’s ideas for a new ‘National Care Service’ that is ‘fair, simple and affordable for everyone, underpinned by national rights and entitlements’. This would include a nationally determined assessment of need and basic provision. The big issue is who pays. The Government has ruled out the options of either, a fully tax funded system or one where the individual is totally responsible for their own provision. Three possible funding options are set out combining state, insurance and individual contributions. In terms of specifics, there is a strong indication that Attendance Allowance will end and this funding will be incorporated into the new system. www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/
Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_102338 Consultation deadline: 31 October 09.
- SOCIAL CARE FUNDING FOR OLDER PEOPLE UNDER-SPENT
Despite the increasing number of older people, particularly amongst the ‘older old’, Social Services expenditure on older people fell slightly below budget during 07-8, with a further underspend predicted for 08-09. The greatest overspend was on adults with learning disabilities (LD) where half of authorities reported budgetary pressures. LD care home placement average cost was just under £1,000 per week, compared with £411 for an older person in residential care (07-08). Figures are from the Adults’ Social Services Expenditure 2008-9 report, published by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. The LGA has also published ‘A Fairer Future’ setting out its proposals for a reformed system of adult social care. www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=13913 (link to both documents).
- COMMUNITY EQUIPMENT – A CALL FOR NATIONAL MINIMUM STANDARDS
“Community Equipment Services – England and Wales 2009 - The need for National Minimum Standards” by Brian Donnelly highlights significant risks and concerns relating to the current delivery of community equipment. On the basis of the evidence cited the author argues the case for introducing National Minimum Standards, demonstrating the benefits this would bring. As a result of the report the Welsh Assembly is looking closely at setting standards. www.thiis.co.uk/report-standards-donnelly.aspx
- HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT LOCAL AREAS AT A GLANCE
Health Profiles provide a clearly set out snapshot of population health for each local council in England using key health indicators such as life expectancy, early death due to heart disease and stroke, number of over 65s not in good health, hip fracture rates and excess winter deaths. They are designed to help local councils and the NHS decide where to target resources and tackle health inequalities in their local area and will also be of interest to anyone providing preventative housing related services. www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?QN=P_HEALTH_PROFILES
- DEMENTIA AND HOUSING
Dementia is increasingly hitting the headlines, but often the role of housing is not mentioned. A recent special edition of the Journal of Care Services Management focussing on housing and dementia includes an article about people with dementia living in mainstream housing and the potential role of home improvement agencies. www.henrystewart.com/jcsm/special.html
- DEPT OF HEALTH LAUNCHES CARERS HELPLINE
A new information and advice service for carers of all ages is now available 7 days a week. Tel: 0808 802 0202. website: www.nhs.uk/carersdirect
- FUTURE OF HOME IMPROVEMENT AGENCIES: CONNECTING WITH HEALTH & CARE
Foundations has published ‘Connecting with health and care’, the fourth sub-report of the Future HIA project. The report considers the work of home improvement agencies in relation to health and social care, highlighting the importance of preventative services delivered by HIAs using case studies from local agencies. The DH Housing Learning and Improvement Network has endorsed the report and sent copies to managers in social services and PCTs. www.foundations.uk.com/default.aspx?id=846
- CLEARING THE CLUTTER - FINDING A BETTER WAY TO WORK WITH COMPULSIVE HOARDERS
Coventry’s Orbit Care & Repair has worked with an occupational therapist to pioneer a new way to help people who hoard to a level that affects their ability to have a decent quality of life. Inside Housing [www.insidehousing.co.uk/story.aspx?storycode=6504818] has published an in depth feature article which graphically illustrates situations that many local agencies will recognise. For a Briefing about the new approach see: www.careandrepair-england.org.uk/learning/pdf/a_lasting_difference.pdf
- FUNDING FROM THE BIG LOTTERY – CHANGES AHEAD
The Big Lottery (BIG) has published the strategy and principles that will underpin its funding programmes for the next six years (2009-15). ‘BIG Thinking’ explains what BIG want to achieve and how we will deliver its mission to bring real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need. Two of the areas that BIG will focus on are people undergoing difficult transitions in their lives and those experiencing isolation with a strong emphasis on enabling communities to help themselves. There is a commitment to the voluntary and community sector receiving 80% of BIG funding. The Awards For All and Reaching Communities programmes will remain open during 2009 - 10. New programmes will be launched from 2010. www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/bt_strategic_framework.pdf
- IMPACT OF THE RECESSION ON BENEVOLENT FUNDS
One in five Benevolent Funds have said that the decrease in their income from investments and donations may affect their grant-giving strategy in the near future. However, 45% said that they did not expect fallout from the recession to affect their grant-giving to individuals. These findings came from a survey by Benevolence Today, a coalition of such funders, which has also launched a new page on its website for people facing a financial crisis. www.benevolencetoday.org/index.php?id=103
- THE FUTURE JOBS FUND
This new government scheme, worth £1 billion, aims to create 150,000 jobs over 2 years primarily for unemployed young people (18-24) who have been out of work for a year or more. Whilst a range of organisations can bid, local authorities are expected to be the main lead on this but often heading partnerships which include the third sector. The jobs created through the scheme have to show benefit to the community and be up and running quickly. It may be worth considering potential links to delivery of handyperson services. For more information see www.dwp.gov.uk/futurejobsfund.
- FUNDING CENTRAL: A NEW, FREE ONLINE GUIDE TO FUNDING AND FINANCE OPPORTUNITIES
Funding Central website is a free guide for the third sector developed by NCVO and funded by the Cabinet Office. It gives access to a spectrum of local and national funding and finance opportunities (including contracts and tenders), plus resources to support organisations to develop sustainable income strategies. www.fundingcentral.org.uk.
- HEADLEY TRUST AIDS FOR THE DISABLED FUND
The Headley Trust has recently decided to award grants of up to £1,500 towards specialist equipment (max. 50% of cost) for low income disabled adults (16+). Possible items: electric wheelchairs/ scooters, adapted computers, stair lifts, specialist beds and adaptations to vehicles. Holidays / building adaptations are not eligible. Written applications by a third party (eg. charitable body, parish council, social services, HIA) should be sent to The Headley Aids for Disabled Scheme, The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, 1st Floor, Allington House, 150 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5AE.
- BT COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS AWARD SCHEME
Community and charitable organisations can apply to this scheme for a laptop and a year’s free broadband connection if they can demonstrate how an award will benefit their work and the local community. Applications online: www.btcommunityconnections.com
- SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT – HOT TOPIC
Providers of services often argue that the importance of what they do goes beyond monetary value. This added social value is being looked at very seriously by policy makers and funders. The Cabinet Office has published a guide to ‘Social Return on Investment’ (SROI) which explains the ideas and offers a framework for measuring a broader concept of value, including the impacts identified by stakeholders. www.sroi-uk.org/component/option,com_docman/Itemid,38/.
The Charities Evaluation Service runs a range of courses on SROI, including a free half day workshop www.ces-vol.org.uk
REAL HELP NOW – NEW GOVERNMENT BOOKLET FOR PENSIONERS AFFECTED BY THE RECESSION
The Government has launched a 40 page booklet for people over 60 years – ‘Real help now for over 60s: Where to find help when you need it’. It includes information on a wide range of subjects from claiming pensions and benefits, help with fuel bills, support for carers, training, savings, money management and debt, keeping your home and employment. http://realhelpnow.gov.uk/?p=885
- BEWARE BENEFITS HELPLINES THAT CHARGE PREMIUM RATES
A growing number of companies are setting up telephone advice services with names that are very similar to free providers, but charge high call rates eg. a 10 min call @ £1.50 min is £15. Many come up as a sponsored link on a Google search and the charges are far from obvious. The best advice is for people to use government sites and reputable providers eg. FirstStop for housing and care information www.firststopcareadvice.org.uk. and Citizens Advice www.citizensadvice.org.uk for a range of subjects.
- CHANGES TO DISABLED FACILITIES GRANTS MEANS TEST
Regulations (S.I.2009 No 1807) have been published to amend the test of resources to reflect the introduction of employment and support allowance. They include making income related ESA a pass-porting benefit and amend the definition of a qualifying young person. They come into effect on 5th August 09. www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/uksi_20091807_en_1
- INCREASED WARM FRONT GRANTS COME INTO EFFECT
The Regulations have been published which increase the amount payable for Warm Front insulation and heating improvements to £3,500 (previously £2,700) and to £6,000 for oil central heating (previously £4,000). They come into effect on the 1st August 09 and are retrospective ie. the new amounts will apply to applications in the pipeline, and approved applications where the work has not yet commenced. See S.I. 2009 No 1816. www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2009/uksi_20091816_en_1
- NEW REPORT: GETTING ON WELL TOGETHER - COUNCILS WORKING WITH OLDER PEOPLE
This publication examines research, pilot projects and best practice amongst local authorities who are taking population ageing seriously in their local planning and service delivery. It includes useful examples of local practice and a clear explanation of policy drivers for the ageing agenda. www.idea.gov.uk/idk/core/page.do?pageId=10007106
- PUTTING OLDER PEOPLE IN THE POLITICAL FRAME
‘Voting Age: An older people’s manifesto’ has been published by Counsel and Care. It sets out key things that older people who took part in a series of events want all political parties to include in their general election manifestos and includes forewords by all three main party leaders. www.counselandcare.org.uk/assets/library/documents/VotingAge_Manifesto_final.pdf
- WORKING TOGETHER FOR OLDER PEOPLE IN RURAL AREAS
This joint report from the Social Exclusion Task Force and DEFRA examines evidence on the social exclusion experienced by older people in rural areas and identifies examples of innovative service delivery. It notes that older people in rural areas are more likely to live in poor housing and face fuel poverty. www.defra.gov.uk/rural/older-people/index.htm
- EUROPEAN REPORT CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION TO PREPARE FOR POPULATION AGEING
The 2009 EU Ageing report confirms projections that the proportion of working age people to the proportion of over 65s in the population is likely to drop from four to one today, to two to one by 2060 and calls for action by all member states. It says if governments do not address work, pensions, health and social care issues they will face significant additional costs and even cause tensions between generations. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52009DC0180:EN:NOT
- ‘BUILDING A SOCIETY FOR ALL AGES’ – NEW CROSS GOVERNMENT STRATEGY LAUNCHED
This Strategy calls for a “major cultural shift, to build our vision of a society for all ages – where people are not defined by their age, and prejudice does not prevent us from fully harnessing the skills and experience of our older population” and sets action for all government departments. It calls for individuals to plan ahead for their older age sooner, with the role of the State being to encourage this. Specifics include a one-stop-shop, ‘Active at 60’ packages, health checks for people from 40 yrs and reviewing the default retirement age (ie. set age compulsory retirement) in 2010.
With regard to housing and the need to build communities for all ages it notes that Lifetime Homes Standards will be compulsory for all social rented housing from 2011, but only mentions that the private sector will be ‘encouraged’ to adopt these. The deadline for responses to the Consultation on the proposals is the 12th October 09. www.hmg.gov.uk/media/33830/fullreport.pdf
This News and Policy Update is produced by Care & Repair England
The Renewal Trust Business Centre, 3 Hawksworth Street, Nottingham, NG3 2EG
Tel/ Fax: 0115 950 6500
Email Care & Repair England
Every effort has been made to ensure the information above is correct. However, Care & Repair England cannot accept any responsibility for errors and omissions.
Care & Repair England is an Industrial and Provident Society with Charitable Status Reg 25121
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Spring 2009 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2008 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Autumn 2008 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Summer 2008 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Spring 2008 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2007 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Autumn 2007 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Summer 2007 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Spring 2007 edition) can be viewed here
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2006 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Autumn 2006 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Summer 2006 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Spring 2006 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2005 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Autumn 2005 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Summer 2005 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Spring 2005 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2004/05 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Autumn 2004 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Summer 2004 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Spring 2004 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2003/04 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update (Winter 2002/03 edition) can be viewed here.
- The Care & Repair England News and Policy Update briefing paper (Spring 2003 edition) can be viewed here.