A service helping Norwich residents to live independently in warm and safe homes has been shortlisted for a national award.
Norwich City Council’s home improvement team’s work to provide adaptations, support and financial assistance has been nominated in the Disabled Facilities Grant Adaptations Service of the Year category at the Healthy Housing Awards.
The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a capital grant paid to local authorities in England that can meet, or contribute towards, the cost of adapting a person’s home.
Support can be given in a number of ways, from installing disabled adaptations such as level access showers, hand rails, stair lifts, changing lighting schemes to improve visibility around the home, to carrying out small repairs and minor jobs around the house that you may not be able do yourself.
The DFG is a means tested grant and applicants may be asked to contribute towards adaptations, however the council gives an additional discretionary grant that pays the first £5,000 of an applicant’s calculated contribution.
Additional funding available in Norwich includes grants to prevent admission to hospital and to assist people living with dementia; supporting people who have needs that can’t be met by a standard grant.
The council’s scheme has been recognised for the speed at which adaptations are provided; an average of 100 days from the first point of contact, compared with the 240 day average across Norfolk.
Individuals using the service benefit from a dedicated caseworker, meaning they have one main point of contact throughout the adaptation process.
Beyond this, the service has also shown strategic excellence in its close relationships with key agencies such as social services.
Councillor Beth Jones, cabinet member with responsibility for private sector housing strategy, said: “Living safely and independently at home is an aspiration we all have for ourselves and our family, so we are very proud that our service offers a range options for residents across Norwich to enable them to do so for as long as possible.
“It is fantastic that the council’s team is being recognised for the range and standard of support they are delivering, and I would urge anyone who thinks that they or someone they know might benefit from the scheme to get in touch.”
To make a referal to the team please go to www.norwich.gov.uk/healthyhomes or call 0344 980 333.
The team is currently recruiting an occupational therapist. To find out more and apply, visit www.norwich.gov.uk/jobs
The winner of the award will be revealed at a ceremony in London on Wednesday 25 September.