Home improvement agencies (HIAs) across England will be able to help vulnerable people stay warm this winter through a new £500k government programme which sees HIA case workers and handypersons provide advice to 4,000 households and funding for small energy efficiency improvements to 1,000 households.
The scheme, ‘Foundations Warm Homes Service’, is financed by the Warm Homes, Healthy People fund, part of the Department of Health’s initiative to reduce deaths over the winter.
It will be managed by Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), the charitable arm of Foundations which represents home improvement agencies in England. FILT is chaired by former housing minister Baroness Kay Andrews.
The funding will also be used to pay for small-scale warm home improvements such as boiler repairs, draught-proofing windows or a new gas fire. FILT will award money to HIAs that successfully bid for funding. HIAs will then distribute this funding locally to approximately 1,000 older or disabled, vulnerable individuals.
Former housing minister Baroness Kay Andrews said: “This is the first time the HIA sector has been directly funded to make a significant contribution to tackling fuel poverty and it’s a great opportunity for HIAs to build on the fantastic local work they already do. I’m delighted that the trusting relationship HIA case workers have with thousands of vulnerable people has been recognised as an important tool to help reduce fuel poverty, quickly and effectively.”