News & Blogs
"A Sustainable Solution for Housing Needs of the Future"|
Sep 9th 2020
Wessex Resolutions CIC (WRCIC) have been delivering sustainable funding solutions across the private sector housing stock throughout the South West for over 16 years... Find out more about their unique business model.
Financial Help for Homeowners Across the South West|
Sep 9th 2020
Did you know that local councils across the South West work in partnership with not-for-profit lender Wessex Resolutions CIC to provide loan funding to homeowners for home repairs and improvements? Wessex Resolutions CIC have created a sustainable funding stream to enable homeowners to access responsible finance. To date, they have recycled over £8.4 million of council funds with their innovative loan scheme.
Staying Put Agency - COVID Response|
Aug 17th 2020
Find out how Middlesbrough Staying Put Agency has supported the local authority response to Covid-19, the Staying Put Agency has used its can-do approach, creative thinking and flexible working to support residents in these most challenging and unparalleled times
Round Table Report|
Jul 31st 2020
Foundations Round Tables try to say something new about thorny issues that face Local Authorities and Home Improvement Agencies. The sort of issues that hinder the ability of ordinary people to make adaptations to their home to accommodate changing needs.
Recover, Reset, Regenerate - Conference Briefing|
Jul 14th 2020
On Wednesday the 24th June 2020, Foundations, ADASS and the Housing LIN were pleased to host a virtual conference introduced by Luke Hall MP, the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, to draw on the lessons we have learned from our experiences during the Pandemic to inform our National Recovery. We have now published a full conference briefing, available to download.
R v Islington (McKeown)|
Jul 2nd 2020
Mrs McKeown is 63 and a tenant of Islington Council. She lives in a three storey maisonette with her husband and adult son. Another son lives across the road. She has previously had other adaptations to her home including stairlifts and a ramp into the back garden.
Foundations Case Manager - Helping those working from home|
Jun 12th 2020
Throughout the pandemic, we know how much you and your teams have relied on Foundations Case Manager, to help you provide seamless services, regardless of where you are working, whether it be from home, out in the field or still in the office. Foundations are proud to work alongside you.
HIA Covid Response: The Sensational Efforts of HIAs|
Jun 12th 2020
During COVID-19, exceptional HIAs have responded to the pandemic in sensational ways; going above and beyond for their communities. This blog post relays only 2 of the many HIAs which stepped up to take a central role by supporting those in need. We are extremely proud and delighted to share their stories with you...
“In-their-depth”: empowering older people to improve comfort and well-being|
Jun 11th 2020
Our population is ageing and by 2050 it is estimated that a quarter of people in the UK will be aged 65 and over, compared to 18% today. Most people wish to stay in their home for as long as possible, or Age-in-Place, but this often results in long periods of time spent indoors.
3 Tools to Support Working from Home|
Mar 30th 2020
Find here 3 tips or activities that you can do to support health and well being whilst working from home.
Report reveals DFG impact on keeping people out of care|
Mar 27th 2020
A new report has revealed what the average local authority achieves through disabled facilities grants (DFGs) – and key factors in maximising the grant’s ability to help people to live in their own home.
Notes from the Front Line|
Mar 19th 2020
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, HIAs and local services are shifting to the new realities of working on the frontline. “Notes from the Front Line” has been written by Francis Philippa, one of four Regional Advisors for Foundations - National Body for Home Improvement Agencies.
2020 Budget Report|
Mar 16th 2020
Late last week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the first budget of the new parliament, so what does that mean for us?
Disabled Facilities Grants: Activity Report for 2018/19|
Feb 28th 2020
Find more information about the DFG Activity Report for 2018/19, recently published by Foundations.
*BREAKING NEWS* DFG ALLOCATIONS 2020-21|
Feb 28th 2020
The Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government has just released the latest DFG Allocations for 2020-21.
Unsung Heroes - Handyperson Services|
Feb 20th 2020
Handyperson Services play a pivotal role as the ‘eyes and ears’ of communities in keeping vulnerable people safe and healthy in their own homes, according to our new report. But these ‘unsung heroes’ are facing multiple challenges in the shape of a complex commissioning environment and the growth of the gig economy.
Should I Stay?|
Jan 15th 2020
Starting a conversation about moving in later life can be a tricky one for caseworkers and occupational therapists. Even where there is interest in moving there is often a reluctance to engage for fear of being “put into a home” Foundations have built a survey which will help you start that difficult conversation.
Equity Release Pilot|
Jan 3rd 2020
We're looking for a Home Improvement Agency to pilot the delivery of an equity release programme. With a grant available for Foundations Independent Living Trust.
Let's Get Digital 3|
Nov 28th 2019
I've blogged in the past about some of the software that we use at Foundations, and I'll revisit that again in the future. But there are some different tools we use to manage Foundations Independent Living Trust that you mind also find useful.
Fast Labels Supports Foundations|
Nov 28th 2019
We are always keen to offer support where it is needed, but sometimes it is nice to be on the receiving end. Find out how Fast Labels helped Foundations...
Nov 15th 2019
Read this Case Study and let us know how your HIA would deal with this situation...
Become A TrustMark Regional Framework Provider Hub|
Nov 7th 2019
This short guide aims to explain the opportunity for registered Home Improvement Agencies (HIA) to become Regional TrustMark Framework Provider Hubs (TFPH). In order to keep this guide as simple as possible, it purposefully does not focus on what TrustMark is, or its objectives. Instead this guide focusses why a HIA would want to become a TFPH, how a HIA can become a TFPH, and the cost associated with this.
Keeping People Safe At Home|
Nov 6th 2019
In a UK first, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight STP[i] has commissioned a ground-breaking approach to improving the mental health and wellbeing of local communities through a focus on the home...
Do We Really Need CO Detectors?... YES|
Nov 5th 2019
Find out why it is important to have a CO Detector in your house...
Improving the Lives of Vulnerable People throughout Lincolnshire|
Oct 15th 2019
In Lincolnshire we recognise the importance a home can have on the long term health and wellbeing of a person. We continue to improve our ways of working and ultimately improve the lives of vulnerable people throughout Lincolnshire.
National Healthy Housing Awards 2019 Winners Announced|
Sep 26th 2019
Winners of first National Healthy Housing Awards unveiled Inspirational organisations and individuals have been honoured at the inaugural National Healthy Housing Awards.
We Need To...|
Aug 14th 2019
Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard the same statement made several times: “We need to end the postcode lottery in DFG delivery” On the face of it quite a straightforward, common sense thing to say. But, when you start to unwrap what it actually means, I think it’s a really dangerous mantra to repeat.
DFG Champions Roadshows Autumn - Book now!|
Aug 1st 2019
The DFG Champions Roadshows are back and better than ever. Over the years, the Roadshows have become the go-to events for anyone involved in the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants, with lots of our delegates making it the number one event in their calendar every round.
Caseworkers: the key to success|
Aug 1st 2019
In January Paul wrote a blog about the role of Caseworker, arguing that Caseworkers helped cases run more smoothly and as a result helped home improvement agencies and adaptations services deliver their services more efficiently.
Finalists Announced for the National Healthy Housing Awards 2019|
Jul 12th 2019
The wait is over! After a record breaking number of entries this year we are pleased to announce the shortlisted entries for this year's National Healthy Housing Awards.
RCOT launch ‘Adaptations without delay’ report|
Jun 14th 2019
The Royal College of Occupational therapists (RCOT) has launched a new guide, ‘Adaptations without delay’ which will help speed up the process of delivering adaptations to people’s homes. Adaptations play a crucial role in prevention and improving health and wellbeing for older and disabled adults and children and in consequence the sooner they are installed the greater the benefit. The overall aim of the guide is to reduce delays in delivery of adaptations and does so by providing tools that support a proportionate response. The guide contains a decision-making framework that outlines new ways of working that includes the different levels of complexity of a situation and the most appropriate response. It also helps stakeholders identify the circumstances when an assessment is not required by an occupational therapist.
Whatever happened to handyperson services?|
May 30th 2019
"I personally still think there’s an important role for handyperson services, and I think commissioners often miss a trick in taking advantage of the benefits they can bring. But we live in a different world" - Roy McNally, Regional Development Manager at Foundations shares his views on the importance of handyperson services and the need for a fresh look on this type of support.
Supporting People with Dementia|
May 21st 2019
There are an estimated 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK today and this is predicted to rise to more than one million in the next five years. Foundations Independent Living Trust has broadened and deepened learning around the contributions that HIAs can make to support people with dementia through its Dementia Grant Pilot scheme, made possible with a £10,000 donation from Taylor Wimpey.
May 15th 2019
From travelling around the country for four years, there’s only one thing I can say really makes the difference between a good service and an average one. Whether it’s a unitary authority or district council, urban or rural, big or small, north or south. The thing that makes the difference is the people delivering the service.
Free help at hand to improve support for independent living|
May 10th 2019
Local authorities, housing associations and charities who run services to support independent living are being offered free training to improve the way they use disabled facilities grants (DFGs).
Top 10 Ways to Keep Contractors Happy (Part 2)|
May 1st 2019
In part two of our blog 'Top 10 ways to Keep Contractors Happy,' Paul Smith, Director of Foundations, runs through 5 more ways that you can keep contractors happy.
Changes to TrustMark|
May 1st 2019
Foundations has been working with TrustMark on ways to simplify the registration and membership process of the two schemes in which Foundations are involved: Handyperson and Disabled Adaptations (Major Adaptations).
Top 10 Ways to Keep Contractors Happy (Part 1)|
Mar 28th 2019
However hard we work at supporting our clients, in most cases we're judged on the end product: the standard of the repair, improvement or adaptation, and that largely comes down to the quality of the contractors that you work with. They're an essential part of the process but sometimes their importance is neglected, and unsurprisingly they then go to ply their trade elsewhere. This means that many agencies become over-reliant on a very small pool of contractors and all the risks that entails. In this two-part blog, I'm going to run through 10 ways that you can keep contractors happy and in turn deliver a better end product to your clients.
Middlesbrough HIA - Service of the Year 2018|
Mar 28th 2019
Winning Foundations’ ‘Home Improvement Agency of the Year 2018’ is national recognition of the range of services the agency provides supporting a number of clients, particularly older and vulnerable residents who want to remain in their own home. Across the Staying Put Agency services we look at ways to remove barriers and to change attitudes that restrict where a person is able to live and the life choices they are able to make. When barriers are removed, disabled and older people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.
The Impact of the Dementia Dwelling Grant (DDG) - Guest Blog|
Mar 27th 2019
One of the best things about being a researcher is witnessing the difference that services can make to people’s daily lives, particularly when they come at a relatively low cost. So I have greatly enjoyed being part of a research team with the Association for Dementia Studies, at the University of Worcester, where we have been exploring the impact of the Dementia Dwelling Grant (DDG) across Worcestershire.
Pilot projects to help over 65s decide whether downsizing is a good move|
Mar 20th 2019
Two areas are to test out new ways to help older people decide whether moving home would boost their independence, health and wellbeing. The projects, set up by Foundations and funded by Taylor Wimpey via Foundations Independent Living Trust, are based on the ‘senior move manager’ approach that has helped to transform the image of downsizing in North America over the last 20 years.
Top 5 Reasons Why You Need to Attend the Roadshows|
Mar 12th 2019
The DFG Champions Roadshows are back next month. These events are always popular with people involved in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants but this time around there are some essential presentations for anyone else working in Home Improvement Agencies and other housing services. Here the top 5 reasons why you should attend
Why apprenticeships are great for Foundations|
Mar 8th 2019
Hiring apprentices into your organisation is a great way to enhance your service and bring extra skills and knowledge into the team. If you use our HIA Case Manager system, access funds to support your clients through Foundations Independent Living Trust or have just called our office, you will have met Lydia, Harry and Calvin, and you may in fact work with them regularly. They are integral to the Foundations team and have brought new ideas, enthusiasm and creativity to their roles, and fortunately for us, both Harry and Lydia have chosen to continue to work with us after the end of their course. As part of National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we asked them about their apprenticeship and their time with Foundations so far.
DFG Champions Roadshows 2019 – See You There|
Feb 21st 2019
The DFG Champions Roadshows are back in April and filling up fast. It's great to see that other people enjoy them as much as we do! Since we introduced them in 2016 they've become a fixture in the calendar, with a mix of the latest news, informative content, local good practice, meeting up with old colleagues, networking new contacts and seeing the best products.
5 Funding Streams for HIAs|
Jan 30th 2019
Cold homes can be a major factor affecting the health and well-being of occupiers leading to damp & mould growth, an increased likelihood of falls (particularly amongst those who are older and frail), and a marked effect on the mental health of others. There are a number of funding streams that agencies can use to help clients living in cold homes with the physical measures that are needed.
The Case for Casework - Paul's Blog|
Jan 8th 2019
Recently someone asked me, “Do we still need caseworkers, can’t the Technical Officers just get the forms signed when they do the survey?" In some ways it’s a valid question.- read more in Paul's blog
Review calls for overhaul to improve home adaptations - DFG Review|
Dec 10th 2018
Housing and health partnership boards should be set up in every area of England to maximise the impact of grants for home adaptations, according to an independent government review.
Top 3 Ways to Address a Shortage of Technical Officers - Paul's Blog|
Nov 28th 2018
One question that we’re increasingly being asked, is where have all the technical officers gone? Many agencies are finding it difficult to recruit and meet demand driven by the recent increases in Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding. So what's the answer? Here are my top 3 suggestions:
Guest Blog: The importance of unit costs when setting Disabled Facilities Grants allocations|
Nov 14th 2018
The profile of home adaptations for older and disabled people was raised when the Care Act 2014 placed new obligations on Local Authorities to adapt the houses of those eligible. Recent research published by the House of Commons Library into Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) however has highlighted “unacceptable bureaucracy and delay in getting adaptations approved and installed.” Among other measures, the Government has now committed to increasing funding for DFGs in England from £468 million in 2018-19 to £505 million in 2019-20.
DFG Learning and Innovation Club - Paul's Blog|
Nov 7th 2018
To support that improvement, we run Learning and Innovation clubs. As the name suggests, they’re all about learning from other members and developing innovative new approaches with support from Foundations and our partners Intel4Housing.
Guest blog, Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency|
Nov 1st 2018
Winner of the HIA Service of the Year Award 2018, Lincolnshire Home Independence Agency are our guest bloggers this month. "We’re a small, independent charity serving the whole of Greater Lincolnshire, a vast area embracing sparsely-populated rural communities and diverse urban areas, and with an overall population ageing ahead of the national trend."
Budget Response - Paul's blog|
Oct 30th 2018
For the second consecutive year the Chancellor has announced extra money for disabled facilities grants (DFG) - on top of the unprecedented increases we’ve seen over the last few years. This takes the annual allocation to over half a billion and surely shows that well adapted homes are a key part of the Government’s strategy for health and social care.
Guest blog, The Pretty, Good Project|
Oct 17th 2018
I'm happy to be the one to state the obvious. If we know 40,000 or so adaptations are made via the Disabilities Facilities Grant (DFG)* every year, of which it is adaptations to bathrooms that are the most common thing asked for, doesn't this raise the question that we might be designing our bathrooms wrong in the first place?
Charities Praise Good Practice and Innovation in Efforts to Help Older People Remain in their Homes for Longer|
Oct 16th 2018
New report highlights forward-thinking initiatives offered by councils and service providers on adapting and improving homes to make them more accessible and help people in later life keep living well in their own homes for longer.
DFG Quality Standard Coming Soon - Paul's Blog|
Aug 28th 2018
For those of you who attended our DFG Champions Roadshows last year, you might remember my countdown of the top 10 aspects of good DFG delivery? There was general consensus that it was about right, so we went away to write it up. But then the DFG Review started and we put it to one side.
Adding a new tool to your tool box - DLF Trusted Assessor Level 2|
Aug 27th 2018
Handy person teams provide an invaluable service to vulnerable residents; keeping them safe and independent by carrying out low level repairs to their homes. They are also a key frontline response to removing fall hazards, assisting with hospital discharge and signposting to other services for major adaptations.
Brand New findmyhia site - Paul's Blog|
Aug 7th 2018
Over the last 3 years thousands of people have visited findmyhia.org.uk to find the contact details for their local Home Improvement Agency. It’s a little basic but it’s done the job. Now it’s well established and linked to from a wide range of other sites there’s an opportunity to make it bigger and better. To make it into a shopfront for the sector; with reviews, case studies, photos, videos, social media links and more. So that’s what we’ve done.
What training do you want to see?|
Aug 3rd 2018
We are always looking for ideas on how to ensure our courses are the most relevant to you. You can directly inform our next course by telling us aboout the type of training you need.
DFG Review - Paul's Blog|
Jul 24th 2018
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the DFG Review. Whether you came to the consultation workshops, completed the online survey, submitted Freedom of Information returns, commented on the Facebook group or sent us a written response - they all fed into the first independent review since 2005.
The accessibility of Disabled Facilities Grant application forms|
Jul 23rd 2018
Survey finds that about half of local authorities in England do not make application forms freely available for home adaptation grants – known as Disabled Facilities Grants. The Research was funded by the disabled children’s charity Cerebra and undertaken by students at the School of Law, Leeds University under the supervision of Professor Luke Clements with support from the Access Committee for Leeds a Disabled People’s Organisation with national expertise in home adaptations.
HIA Awards 2018 Winners Announced|
Jul 19th 2018
National awards celebrate trailblazers in home adaptations and housing support. Winners of this year’s HIA Awards – honouring the work of Home Improvement Agencies and Handyperson Services across England – have been announced at a House of Lords ceremony.
Stigmatising and ‘clinical’ products put people off making vital changes to keep their homes safe|
Jul 6th 2018
Older people with health conditions and mobility issues are delaying making vital changes to their homes, such as installing handrails and ramps, due to the off-putting and stigmatising appearance of products, as well as the complexity in getting support and information, a new report warns.
Addressing our 100-year lives|
Jun 29th 2018
"We don’t need ‘hospital at home’, we want ‘cheap, cheerful and colourful, an IKEA for older and disabled people!" Dame Philippa Russell, Vice-President, Carers UK
Improving the delivery of disabled facilities grants|
Jun 26th 2018
Recent reports have highlighted the huge challenges we face in both catering for the housing needs of vulnerable people and relieving the pressure on acute hospital services.
Housing services - helping people to get home from hospital - showcasing practice in your area|
May 15th 2018
This interactive map, developed by Foundations and the Housing LIN, highlights examples of where housing organisations and services are actively supporting hospital discharges and helping to get people home.
Warwickshire is at the heart of home improvements|
May 15th 2018
The recent report from the Equalities and Human Right Commission (EHRC) shines a light on the problems facing many disabled people with housing in the UK today. As the director of the national body for home improvement agencies in England, Foundations, I was particularly interested in their findings on the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs).
Housing and Disabled People - Britain's Hidden Crisis|
May 11th 2018
The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has today published its report 'Housing and Disabled People - Britain's Hidden Crisis'. It reveals the findings of an 18 month-long inquiry, detailing a wide range of recommendations, and calling on UK governments to take urgent action to make homes adaptable and accessible to everyone.
A new TrustMark offer from Foundations|
May 8th 2018
Many HIAs and handyperson services already see the benefit of TrustMark membership – especially the extra able-to-pay business a TrustMark web listing brings. But some HIAs are still reluctant to acquire a TrustMark registration because of its core requirement to have all contractors employed by the HIA, themselves registered with TrustMark.
Rural communities need more homes for an ageing population|
Apr 30th 2018
Government policies are overlooking the housing needs of older people in rural areas, according to a new report from an All-Party Parliamentary Group.
DFG Analytics has now gone live from April 2018|
Apr 25th 2018
For the first time DFG providers will have access to a comprehensive source of data to assess their delivery. It will also provide a valuable framework to review efficiency and effectiveness of the service you provide.
A helping hand from CFOA BlueWatch|
Apr 19th 2018
In the autumn of 2017, BlueWatch/CFOA donated 1,000 Fire Angel cold detectors to Foundations and FILT. We then distributed the alarms to a number of community organisations across the north west of England.
Not your average DFG - Paul's blog|
Apr 11th 2018
There are 326 housing authorities in England and I often say this means there are 326 different ways of handling DFG applications. If you came along to the recent DFG Review workshops you’ll know that the support available to potential applicants ranges from just handing them an application form through to fully integrated teams that help them every step of the way – and lots of variations in between.
Foundations 2020 - Paul's blog|
Mar 20th 2018
One of the common misconceptions about Foundations is that we’re a membership organisation, and that Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) are “our members”. In fact, we’re a contractor to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and we’ve just signed a contract extension that runs through to September 2020.
Housing seen as key in delivering sustainable health & social care services|
Mar 19th 2018
Government departments and organisations from across the health, social care, and housing systems, including Foundations, have come together to recognise the key role of housing and reaffirm their commitment to work together.
L&G new equity product - exclusively through HIAs|
Mar 19th 2018
Legal and General have launched a new lifetime mortgage for Home Improvement Agency clients. Developed with Age Partnerships and Foundations the new product has no advice fees, no arrangement fees and heavily subsidised legal costs.
Experts to carry out independent review of Disabled Facilities Grant|
Mar 7th 2018
The University of West of England has been appointed by the Government to carry out an independent review of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) in England. The University will be working with Foundations, the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Ferret Information Systems and an experienced occupational therapist to look at both the operation of the grant and the wider delivery of home adaptations to support the independence of disabled people living in their own homes.
We must collaborate to make homes suitable for the elderly|
Mar 6th 2018
As the Director of Foundations - the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) - I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that I fully support the recommendations in the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee's report on Housing for Older People.
Our charity will set up a pilot to help make homes dementia friendly|
Mar 5th 2018
The charity, Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), will allocate a £10,000 donation by residential developer Taylor Wimpey to four Home Improvement Agencies (HIA). Each HIA will receive a £2,500 grant and the money can be used for improvements such as bathroom and shower adaptations.
English Housing Survey 2016-17|
Feb 20th 2018
The English Housing Survey (EHS) is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. It was first run in 2008-09. Prior to then, the survey was run as two standalone surveys: the English House Condition Survey and the Survey of English Housing. This report provides the findings from the 2016-17 survey.
'Housing for older people' report calls for more HIAs and Handyperson services|
Feb 9th 2018
Older people should be given more help with housing to help them stay healthy and reduce the need for residential care, said the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee.
Diane Simone from Blackpool Care & Repair is named a Heat Hero!|
Feb 8th 2018
The Heat Heroes Awards are open to individuals across England and Wales, and celebrate those who go above and beyond to get the recognition they deserve – for helping people in their community live in warmer homes.
Abacus Healthcare partners with Foundations so disabled bathers have greater access to specialist baths|
Jan 26th 2018
Abacus Healthcare, the trusted manufacturer of assisted baths for disabled bathers, has forged a new Gold Partnership with Foundations so more families and end users can benefit from safer, enjoyable bathing.
A new job for HIAs?|
Jan 25th 2018
A short blog from Paull Robathan, Chairman at South Petherton Hospital League of Friends and Doctoral Candidate at University of the West of England (UWE).
Renewed partnership with Gas Safe Charity continues to offer crucial support to HIA customers|
Jan 24th 2018
Our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is pleased to announce that it has renewed its partnership with Gas Safe Charity, now in its fifth year. Following an initial allocation of £275,000, an additional £50,000 has been made available from Gas Safe Charity to be used towards minor gas safety works in the homes of older and vulnerable people.
End of year review - Paul's blog|
Dec 19th 2017
As 2017 draws to a close, the long awaited review of the Disabled Facilities Grant has been announced – or at least, the tender notice for the contract to carry it out has.
The real picture on disabled facilities grants, as shown by DFG analytics|
Dec 13th 2017
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) have been around for nearly 30 years; they’re delivered through 326 local authorities across England, and help 50,000 people per year to adapt their home. Those 50,000 grants generate masses of data, but what do we really know about patterns of delivery, what the grant pays for and, most importantly, the outcomes that are derived?
Small changes to homes can improve quality of life and relieve pressure on NHS and social care|
Nov 28th 2017
A new report published today finds that making small changes to older people’s homes, such as installing handrails, ramps and level-access showers, alongside carrying out simple home repairs, could play a significant role in relieving pressure on the NHS and social care and reduce costs by millions of pounds each year.
Autumn budget 2017 - a Foundations briefing|
Nov 23rd 2017
The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in yesterday's Autumn Budget that £42 million of additional funding will be provided for the Disabled Facilities Grant in 2017-18, to support even more people to stay in their own homes.
DFG Champions roadshows recap - Paul's blog|
Nov 7th 2017
12 months, 9 cities, 12 events, 1,000 people – it’s been quite a year of DFG Champions Roadshows! The idea was to share ideas, frustrations and good practice to inspire change and new ways of thinking. From the feedback I think they’ve been a great success for delegates, but for us, they’ve also proved to be a fantastic way of testing the mood of the sector.
Foundations are proud to partner with Naidex and the Home, Design & Build Summit|
Nov 6th 2017
Naidex is Europe's most exciting event dedicated to the disability, independent living and healthcare professional sectors and it’s completely free to attend! In the wake of the huge success of the most recent instalment of this long-established event, Naidex will return for its 44th year to the Birmingham NEC on the 25th & 26th April 2018.
Let’s get digital (again) - Paul's blog|
Oct 17th 2017
One of my most read blogs this year featured some of the free software and apps that we use at Foundations HQ. So here’s some more suggestions – and again we use them all, and they’re all free!
What's in a name? - Paul's blog|
Oct 2nd 2017
What does the term “adaptation” mean to you? As you’re reading this then you’re probably thinking about stairlifts, level access showers and ramps. Or maybe grabrails, half steps and toilet frames? Or do they count as “minor adaptations” or “equipment”?
Home Improvement Agency Awards celebrate efforts to support independent living|
Sep 15th 2017
Two pioneering organisations providing vital, tailored services to thousands of vulnerable people have been jointly crowned Home Improvement Agency Service of the Year.
DFG Champions at 1|
Aug 23rd 2017
'DFG Champions' is 1. It somehow seems longer than a year ago that we tentatively launched with the simple idea to create a social movement around DFG. To bring together a group of people from across the Country who want to see positive change in the way home adaptations are provided.
What does good mean? - Paul's blog|
Aug 8th 2017
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) have now been around for nearly three decades. In most of that time they have been very much seen as a housing function with pretty straightforward metrics: keep waiting times short, average grants low and grant completions high.
Take the public health approach for housing an ageing population|
Jul 11th 2017
It is important to ensure that much greater numbers take informed decisions about how they will live in their own home in later years of their lives, writes Francis Philippa, Strategy Lead at Foundations.
£80m Life Chances Fund|
Jul 11th 2017
The government has announced an £80m Life Chances Fund (LCF) 'to provide payment-by-results contracts for locally developed projects by socially minded investors'. Contracts must be locally commissioned and aim to tackle complex social problems. The LCF has six themes and it has now issued a call on the last theme - Older people’s services.
Leading Leeds charity celebrates 30 years of success|
Jul 10th 2017
Lord Best and Hilary Benn M.P joined around 100 clients, partners and professionals gathered at The Vinery Centre in Leeds this week to celebrate 30 years’ service by one of the city’s leading voluntary organisations.
How councils can best use Disabled Facilities Grants|
Jul 7th 2017
The Better Care Fund (BCF) is designed to promote joint commissioning of health and social care by pooling a number of previously ring-fenced budgets.
New DFG portal offers speedy solution to home adaptations|
Jul 7th 2017
The time it takes to carry out home improvements for vulnerable people is set to be cut by a new online application from Foundations.
Home adaptations for disabled children|
Jun 16th 2017
Survey finds very significant costs savings result from home adaptations for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders but are hampered by ‘integration difficulties’.
Houses need to be adapted for older people - Paul's blog|
Jun 6th 2017
Housing associations and councils can help older people adapt their home or move to retirement housing, says our director Paul Smith.
HIA Awards 2017 open for entry|
May 30th 2017
We are pleased to announce that HIAs across the country can now submit their applications for the HIA Awards 2017. There are seven categories to choose from, and the winners will be announced on 14th September at the House of Lords.
DFG Champions Roadshows Spring 2017 - Paul's blog|
May 10th 2017
Four cities, 350 people and a lot of talk about improving the delivery of DFG! DFG budgets have grown considerably in the last couple of years thanks extra investment from the Department of Health. But going forwards that brings added responsibility - they don't just want more of the same.
What to expect at the DFG Champions roadshows - Paul's blog|
Apr 11th 2017
I think the DFG Champions Roadshows are probably my favourite thing that we do. Spending four days talking to hundreds of people committed to making a difference is really inspiring.
Minor home repairs bring major benefits to health|
Apr 4th 2017
Around 9,000 people died during the winter of 2014-15 as a result of living in a cold home. These figures, from a study by University College London, show that one fifth of the 43,900 excess winter deaths were caused by health conditions brought on or exacerbated by fuel poverty.
There’s more to integrating housing and health than building new homes|
Mar 29th 2017
Last year the FILT saved the NHS at least £2.4 million through house improvements for older and vulnerable people at risk of fuel poverty. We distributed grants worth £637,000 through our Warm at Home programme to 3,600 people in England, helping them stay safe warm and well in their own home.
Dementia-friendly housing charter|
Mar 27th 2017
Alzheimer's Society's new Dementia-friendly Housing Charter is aimed at the full range of housing sector professionals across all tenures, ranging from planners and architects to landlords and developers, housing managers and handypersons.
Trustmark and Chartered Trading Standards Institute join forces to improve consumer confidence|
Mar 24th 2017
The Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI) and TrustMark have partnered to deliver joint services that offer greater levels of consumer protection and confidence across the many trades delivering services in and around the home.
Foundations workplan review - Paul's blog|
Mar 20th 2017
This time last year I decided that we would publish our workplan for the year. The idea was to be much more transparent – tell you what we were planning to do so that you could get involved with some of our projects, or vice versa if we had a mutual interest.
Five reasons why you should care about housing and health – Sam Haskell (DH)|
Mar 3rd 2017
Day in, day out staff working in the NHS will see the interconnection between housing and health, and recognise its importance. Here are five reasons why they are right to be interested.
Let's get digital - Paul's blog|
Feb 16th 2017
I like technology and I like free stuff. So free technology, what’s not to like! Over the last couple of years there’s been a real explosion in Software as a Service (SaaS) for business. These are websites that offer online tools you can use in a web browser, and increasingly through mobile apps. We’re using several of these systems at Foundations HQ that you might also find useful.
Fix our broken housing, not just the market!|
Feb 13th 2017
Our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust is calling on the Government and corporate Britain to dig deeper and fix the country’s broken housing as part of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day (17 February).
Help us raise funds for research on older people’s views on adapted homes|
Feb 6th 2017
We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes. We hope insight drawn from this work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently.
New chair for our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust|
Jan 25th 2017
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), a charity that helps vulnerable Britons to stay warm, safe and well in their own homes, has elected Manchester entrepreneur and campaigner Sara McKee as chair.
Foundations' plans for 2017|
Jan 23rd 2017
Our director Paul Smith sets out some of the exciting projects we will be workingHappy New Year to everyone involved in repairs, improvements and adaptations. I’m currently preparing our workplan for next year so wanted to share with you some of things we’re planning for 2017.
Supported housing funding opportunity|
Jan 6th 2017
The government’s supported housing proposals provide an opportunity for the housing sector to become an integral part of health and care provision, says our director Paul Smith.
LGA published Housing Commission final report|
Jan 4th 2017
The final commission report sets out recommendations for how local and national government can work together to build more homes, and to build homes that meet the diverse needs of people, partners and places.
An irreplaceable service - Paul's blog|
Dec 2nd 2016
I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise to hear that the evaluation of the Warm at Home programme found that a warm home is much better for your health than a cold home. But, there are some interesting findings that should help home improvement agencies to demonstrate their value to local commissioners.
Warm at Home programme has helped thousands of householders stay in their own home ‘warm, safe and well’|
Nov 28th 2016
A £637k programme managed by our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust has helped 3,600 people stay in their own home warm, safe and well over a 12 month period.
Tracking the care journey holds the key to a better life|
Nov 25th 2016
Hospitals are again facing record levels of delays in discharging patients. Figures from NHS England show that during September 2016 there were nearly 200,000 days of delays – a 33% increase from September 2015.
The role of home adaptations in improving later life - we need your reports|
Nov 8th 2016
A new review from Centre for Ageing Better aims to provide evidence on the most effective home adaptations to inform the decisions of health care professionals such as occupational therapists, those that pay for adaptations, and those that design and sell adaptations.
Getting through the front door|
Oct 24th 2016
Foundations has been the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies since 2000. In that time we’ve seen a significant shift in how these services have been delivered.
Cold weather plan for England|
Oct 21st 2016
Despite the warming effects of climate change, cold weather remains the biggest cause of weather related mortality in England. The Cold Weather Plan for England aims to prevent avoidable harm to health, by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately.
FILT partnership helps more people to live healthier, more independent lives|
Oct 5th 2016
A partnership project offering practical and emotional support to people over the age of 50 in St Helens is celebrating its first anniversary.
Housing and technology fund|
Sep 28th 2016
The Department of Health has announced a new ‘Housing and Technology Fund’. Local authorities, working with their local partners, can apply for funds from a capital pot of up to £25 million for housing and technology to help drive sustainable housing solutions for people with learning disability in their area.
Our charity FILT is looking for new trustees to join the board|
Sep 27th 2016
Our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is a growing and innovative national charity that raises funds to help older adults and disabled people be warm, safe and well in their own homes.
Helping older people stay independent - Paul's blog|
Sep 26th 2016
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) have been around for over 30 years and help people across all tenures to keep their home safe, warm and secure.
Helping people with dementia stay living at home|
Sep 22nd 2016
Most people say they would want to live at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia. And that’s mostly what happens. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community, often with additional support from family, friends and professional carers.
What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? - Paul's blog|
Sep 15th 2016
What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? My dictionary says ‘advertise or promote’ which is probably what you thought too? But is that it?
The DFG circle|
Sep 7th 2016
Not long to go now before we hit the road for the DFG Champions Roadshows. It’s proving to be our most popular event for years and it will be great to discuss how we can all make the most of the extra funding available.
Report highlights role for Disabled Facilities Grants in linking up housing, health and social care|
Aug 8th 2016
The often confusing myriad of home support services that help vulnerable people live more independently via the Disabled Facilities Grant should be combined to create a one-stop shop, according to a new report from Foundations.
Jul 22nd 2016
Well, it’s been quite a week. The annual HIA and handyperson awards are always a special day in the calendar, but to attend my first as Director of Foundations was a real privilege.
English Housing Survey - Adaptations and Accessibility Report, 2014-15|
Jul 21st 2016
The English Housing Survey is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.
Working to keep people out of care homes – Paul's blog|
Jul 15th 2016
The comprehensive spending review last year announced a significant increase in funding for Disabled Facilities Grants. But with it came the expectation that the extra DFGs investment would “prevent 8,500 people from needing to go into a care home in 2019-20”.
National housing awards celebrate efforts to promote independent living|
Jul 14th 2016
This year’s winners of the national Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Service Awards have been announced at a ceremony in the House of Lords.
Foundations launches marketing programme tailored for the HIA sector|
Jun 29th 2016
We have teamed up with the multi-award winning author of Watertight Marketing, Bryony Thomas, to bring you a 12 month online course that will help you master the essentials of marketing and improve your commercial results.
Prevention and the Disabled Facilities Grant - Paul's blog|
Jun 23rd 2016
When the extra funding for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) was announced in last year’s comprehensive spending review there was a caveat that the investment ‘is expected to prevent 8,500 people from needing to go into a care home in 2019-20’.
Happy retirement to Sylvia McAllister|
Jun 17th 2016
Sylvia McAllister is retiring as a Caseworker from Lancaster City Council Home Improvement Agency.
Jun 14th 2016
Housing adaptations can help old patients move from expensive hospital beds to the comfort of their own home, says Paul Smith - Foundations' director.
Foundations on the advisory panel for the BATH-OUT trial|
May 26th 2016
We are pleased to be on the advisory panel of an exciting research looking at the links between adaptations and the health and well-being of older people through an investigation of the effects of installing bathing adaptations.
Taking the strain off unpaid carers|
May 20th 2016
The recent State of Caring 2016 report from Carers UK was a stark reminder of the impending crisis England faces. The charity warned how a ‘perfect storm of squeezed public services and financial pressures is pushing carers to the brink’ with more than half expecting their quality of life to get worse this year.
Lincolnshire HIA celebrate ten years' service to the local community|
May 17th 2016
Lincolnshire HIA recently marked their 10th anniversary with a day and evening of celebration, including an afternoon reception and dinner with staff awards.
Better understanding of home adaptations can help improve later life|
May 17th 2016
Adaptations to people’s homes can have numerous benefits – enabling people to manage activities of daily living, to remain mobile and active, reducing falls, and consequently reducing the costs of health and care.
How would you spend £250,000 on health and care?|
May 12th 2016
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) operate across most of England. Their role is to work with people to help them to make adaptations or repairs to their homes so they can continue to live there in safety, warmth and comfort.
Good health begins at home|
May 4th 2016
You don’t need to be a medical professional, carer or social worker to know that badly maintained or inappropriate domestic environments can have a long term, detrimental impact on the mental and physical health of the occupants.
9 hours in the future - Part 1|
May 3rd 2016
When I took on my role with Foundations last summer I realised that there would be a fair amount of travel involved. What I never imagined was being invited out to Australia to give the keynote address at their Home Modifications Conference.
Trustmark drums home the importance of home safety|
Apr 29th 2016
As part of an ongoing drive to support the development of home safety in the UK, TrustMark has partnered with the Chief Fire Officers home safety scheme, to promote the assessment and registration of safety features found in both private and rented homes.
Taking a more balanced approach|
Apr 5th 2016
Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists have responded to a recent report from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) focused on the benefits of the disabled facilities grant (DFG) programme.
Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders|
Mar 22nd 2016
A campaign to protect Welsh householders from rogue traders and incompetent operators launches this week as the Welsh Government joins force with Trustmark to promote its consumer protection service.
The bridge between housing and health - Paul's blog|
Mar 21st 2016
It’s been a busy few months. The announcement that Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding would more than double was a very welcome surprise. It was preceded by our well received report into residential care savings and led into the very successful DFG summit that we held with the College of Occupational Therapists just before Christmas.
Fast-tracking home adaptations - Paul's blog|
Mar 9th 2016
I really like Dragons’ Den, BBC2’s search for budding entrepreneurs. Particularly the way a pitch attempts to give a monetary value to an idea, often based on a rudimentary analysis of the target market. The recent ResPublica report on the ‘crisis in residential care’ seems to take a similar approach, suggesting that all delayed discharges from hospital could be resolved by investing millions of pounds into the residential care market.
Off the radar|
Mar 3rd 2016
To coincide with their 30th anniversary, Care & Repair England have published a report which sets out the national picture with regard to the scale of poor housing conditions amongst older people, the resulting impact on the health and wellbeing of an ageing population, and the concentration of poor housing in the owner occupied sector.
‘Adaptations already cut social care costs – here’s how to increase their impact’|
Feb 25th 2016
It is good news that the Disabled Facilities Grant is getting more money but we can make better use of it, argues Doug Stem, DFG Transformation Lead at Foundations.
DFG Summit report|
Feb 10th 2016
In December 2015, Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists held a DFG summit that brought together Occupational Therapists, HIA managers, Grant Officers, Government officers and leading policy people to discuss good practice in the delivery of the DFG.
Our charity FILT receives funding from npower for caseworker in flood hit areas|
Feb 8th 2016
In the aftermath of December’s floods, FILT and Homelife Carlisle will be ensuring help is available for vulnerable households. Thanks to funding from npower, a worker will be on hand to help people find their way through the difficulties of returning home.
Social value - Paul's blog|
Feb 1st 2016
Everyone knows that HIAs do great things. People tell me all the time about great things that a local HIA has done for them or someone they know. These anecdotes make excellent case studies, but how much impact do they really make on the rest of society? How do you measure the benefit of changing a lightbulb, fitting a grabrail, installing a stairlift or repairing a boiler?
Key principles for improving urgent care for older people|
Jan 28th 2016
An independent commission has called for a fundamental change to the way care for older people is designed and delivered, so that care is tailored around individuals rather than institutions.
Funding for vital equipment in the home|
Jan 14th 2016
Adaptations in the home – whether it’s a ramp, stair lift or level access shower – play a huge role in helping vulnerable people to live in their own properties. For people with limited means, the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) has been the main way to fund this vital equipment and over the last quarter of a century thousands of people, mostly over the age of 65, have received support.
Three year funding deal for Warrington Home Improvement Agency|
Jan 11th 2016
The deal, worth more than half a million pounds, will help WHiA to continue providing vital services, such as home aids and adaptations that help people remain in their own homes rather than hospitals and care homes.
Our latest research reveals impact of adapted homes on independent living|
Dec 11th 2015
An investigation by Foundations has revealed the impact that government support for home adaptations can have on supporting independent living and delaying a move into residential care.
Measuring the benefits of home adaptations|
Dec 10th 2015
It’s now 25 years since the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) was introduced by the Government to fund adaptations that enable people to continue to live in their own homes. Since then it has had a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of lives, with around £1.4bn being spent across England in the last five years.
NICE guideline on transition between hospital and community or care home|
Dec 3rd 2015
NICE – the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence - issued new guidance on hospital discharge for older people and people with a disability.
HIAs can help prevent excess winter deaths|
Dec 3rd 2015
Official figures for England and Wales show an increase in the number of winter deaths, an estimated 43,190 excess winter deaths occurred in 2014/15 - the highest number since 1999/00.