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Home Improvement Agencies (HIA)

Three chimneys

Home Improvement Agency (HIA) services originated over 30 years ago with a vision to provide responsive, client-centred solutions to low income, older owner-occupiers’ home repair, maintenance and adaptation problems.

The early pioneers, independent ‘Care and Repair’ or ‘Staying Put’ services were small scale and largely funded by the charitable sector.

While many of the original agencies still operate, most agencies are now managed by housing associations, local authorities or private companies with funding from local authorities and health services.
The HIA sector is almost as well defined by its differences as by its similarities, but all HIAs share two key facets:

  1. Client-centred support provided in a person’s own home
  2. Expertise in making changes to the physical fabric of the home.

Used together, these key strengths provide HIAs with a unique selling point as a provider of services to vulnerable people. These strengths are well suited to drive forward the development of new business, as attributes that differentiate and set apart the sector from other providers in an increasingly segmented and competitive market of support services.

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG)

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) was introduced in 1989. Originally, it was one of several housing grants available to fund repairs, improvements and adaptations.

All the other grants have now gone, and the DFG is part of the Better Care Fund; a pooled budget seeking to integrate health, social care and, through the DFG, housing services.


Person in a wheelchair using an outside Access Ramp