Oxford City Council’s Home Improvement Agency (HIA) has been shortlisted in two categories at the National Healthy Housing Awards 2022.
The National Healthy Housing Awards are organised by Foundations, a national body overseeing a network of more than 200 home improvement agencies and handyperson providers.
The awards celebrate individuals and services supporting people across the country to live comfortably in their own homes, with Oxford’s HIA shortlisted for:
- the Sustainable Home Adaptations Award, which recognises excellent practice in integrating a response to climate change in the delivery of disability adaptations
- the Contractor of the Year Award, which recognises contractors who have shown excellent customer service and great workmanship in adapting the homes of disabled people. Contractors are a key partner in delivering successful adaptation schemes, often spending more time in the home than all other professionals combined
Shortlisted nominees have been chosen by an independent panel including members from NHS England, the Centre for Ageing Better and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
The awards ceremony will take place on 6 December at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
Advice and support from the Home Improvement Agency
Poor housing conditions can put people at risk due to issues like old age, disabilities, health conditions or low income. Help from the HIA can help them live safely and independently in their own homes.
The HIA can help with adaptions to a home and general household repairs, minor electrical and plumbing works, energy efficiency measures and home safety and security.
Grants or loans may be available to undertake any necessary work.
One example of how HIA can help is Mr & Mrs B, who the team has supported for some years. Originally helping with a Disabled Facility Grant for a stair lift, HIA has also helped with various boiler repairs and a replacement boiler using Gas Safe and Winter Warmth funding.
More recently, the HIA was able to help fund essential stair lift maintenance with a Safe and Secure Grant. The team also completed free draught proofing and energy efficiency measures within their home and installed a smoke alarm.
“We would highly recommend using HIA, such a wonderful service to have. You change lives, you certainly changed ours. Having the stair lift installed changed both our lives. I didn’t need to worry about him falling and he didn’t need to worry about how he could get up and down. It gave us such peace of mind. It’s also all the other things you do and it’s lovely to think that if we had a problem we can call you, always there and easy to get hold of. Our caseworker has been so supportive throughout and the contractors have been faultless. Thank you.”
Oxford HIA is part funded by Oxfordshire County Council and the NHS Better Care Fund. The county council recently agreed to renew its contract for HIA services for three years from 1 April 2022.
To discuss the support the HIA may be able to offer call 01865 252788 or visit www.oxford.gov.uk/hia
“Our Home Improvement Agency carries out invaluable work in helping people to live independently, safely and comfortably in their own homes. Oxfordshire County Council has recently extended its contract for HIA services by three years and it’s also fantastic to see the team recognised for its work by being nominated for two awards at the National Healthy Housing Awards.”
Councillor Linda Smith, cabinet member for housing