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Residents helped to live independently with Housing Capital Programme

Safe homes where people can live well and independently will be made possible by St Helens Borough Council as Cabinet approves the latest Housing Capital Programme.

Aerial of houses and playing fields

For the programme year 2022-2023, the council has received funding of £3.148m from Government for delivery of housing initiatives for vulnerable households, mainly through disabled facilities grants and accessibility adaptations, but also affordable warmth and energy efficiency schemes.

The Housing Capital Programme supports the council's Housing Strategy 2022-2027 adopted earlier this year, which envisions 'quality and accessible homes for all' and among its objectives looks to improve health and wellbeing by enabling independent living and improving the thermal efficiency of homes.

Recently the council's Home Improvement Agency was able to support a 68-year-old resident with mobility issues. The team installed adaptations to the resident's home helping him to live independently, including a shower over the bath and a vertical lift, and also provided a number of heating efficiency upgrades.

The resident said: "I really appreciate all of the help and support I have received from the local authority; I do not have any family and friends in the borough and the council have been a lifeline for me."

During 2021-2022, the Housing Capital Programme delivered:

  • 443 Disabled Facilities Grants, including 178 level access showers and wet rooms, 48 ramps, 152 lifts and hoists and 5 property extensions.
  • Housing Financial Assistance to 63 properties for heating and works to remove hazards.
  • 109 properties received Emergency Fund Minor Works, with the majority relating to heating system repairs.
  • Minor structural adaptations were carried out at 500 properties, including installation of external steps and rails.
  • Major external insulation work was supported at 10 properties through provision of 'top up' contributions

Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said:

"There is a strong relationship between housing and health, so we need to ensure that homes are suitable, safe and connected. The range of support we can provide through the Housing Capital Programme can be truly life-changing, particularly for the most vulnerable, people living with a disability, or struggling to heat their homes. We can help you to live well and independently in a warm and safe home that meets your needs now and into the future."

For more information about the Home Improvement Agency and the help they can provide, visit https://hia.sthelens.gov.uk/