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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Housing Rights responds to consultation on Housing Adaptations

Housing Rights has recently responded to an Inter-Departmental Review of Housing Adaptations Services, carried out by the Department for Social Development and the Department of Health.

Housing Rights supports the Report’s commitment to continue the delivery of housing adaptations services, in order to “enable people with disabilities to remain at home and enhance their independence within their local community.” We made the following recommendations to the review:

Make social landlords aware of responsibilities

The Departments should ensure that social landlords are fully aware of their responsibilities in relation to minor housing adaptations. Social landlords should ensure that staff involved in making decisions on minor adaptations are sufficiently resourced, and have the appropriate skills and knowledge to deliver on their responsibilities.

Involve service users in policy development

Housing Rights welcomes the Action Plan’s recognition of the importance of involving service users in policy development. Particular efforts should be made to ensure that service users who are “easy to ignore” are supported to actively participate in the process.

Share information with advice sector

The Joint Housing Adaptations Steering Group should develop a database of key relevant statutory contacts and decision-making protocols relating to housing adaptations, which can be shared with the independent advice sector.

A Housing Options service for older people

Housing Rights supports the plans to explore the potential of a Housing Options service for older people, and potentially other target groups. We note that the Equality Commission’s recent ‘Key Inequalities in Housing’ has highlighted the inequalities faced by older people, who are more likely to live in homes that require adaptations. In order to maximise the impact of a Housing Options Service for any particular target group, the Service should be proactively customised to meet the particular needs of that group.

You can read our response in full here.

Tagged In

Fitness, Social Tenancies, Policy

This article was written on 20 April 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.