Foundations social value research reportOlder and disabled people who have adapted their homes see improvements in their mobility and wellbeing, according to a new report by Foundations which highlights the social value of home adaptations.

The ‘Social Value of Aids and Adaptations’ report evidences people’s experiences of adapting their home and finds that they have a significant effect on independence and self-respect, and enable people to maintain greater degrees of purpose and identity.

Significant cost benefits show how an investment in home adaptations and home improvements agencies can create extraordinary savings elsewhere in the system, the report has found. It goes on to provide recommendations for housing associations, local authorities, central government, and the Housing Regulator to sort out the confusion about funding and improve the speed and effectiveness of home adaptations delivery..

This research explores the stories of the people helped by Home Improvement Agencies to find, fund, and use adaptations to their homes. Enabling them to stay in the homes they love, in the areas and near to the people they know is hugely valuable at human level.

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However, it is all the more essential when accessible properties are not being constructed quickly enough to meet the needs of a growing older and disabled population, nor is it economically sensible to construct afresh when needs can be met at lower cost in the houses which are already built and occupied.

Paul Smith, Director of Foundations, the national body for Home Improvement Agencies and DFG, said: “Calculating social value or showing a return on investment usually involves complicated algorithms that can leave you wondering.

“With this report we wanted to take a different approach – to look at four stories of ordinary people who are disabled by their home, and the difference that adaptations can make to their lives. Each story has a sliding doors moment, where they are supported to make changes to their home or not.

“Of the hundreds of thousands of people who received a Disabled Facilities Grant in the last few years, many will have remarkably similar stories. Their health and wellbeing will have improved, and they will be using fewer health and social care services. That’s a win-win.”

Foundations Independent Living Trust has stated that it commissioned this study and its report in order to demonstrate the impact that can be achieved through the provision of support, advice, aids and adaptations to people by home improvement agencies in the UK.

Foundations is the national body for home improvement agencies and handypersons services and is funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. It provides support to over 200 not-for-profit home improvement and handyperson service providers in England who cover more than 80% of local authority areas.

In March 2022, Foundations released the report, Housing Associations and Home Adaptations: Finding Ways to Say Yes, providing recommendations for housing associations, local authorities, central government, and the Housing Regulator to sort out the confusion about funding and improve the speed and effectiveness of home adaptations delivery.

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