What is a Home Improvement Agency?
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) are small, not-for-profit organisations funded by local and central government.
They provide specialist support and advice to older and disabled people, as well as those on low incomes, for maintaining, adapting and improving their homes.
What are the costs?
An HIA’s advice and first visit are free. If you decide to accept further HIA help, most agencies subsequently charge a fee. Any costs must be discussed and agreed first. If you’re eligible for any local authority grants that could be used to pay the HIA’s fee.
What can a Home Improvement Agency help me with?
HIAs can give general advice on:
- schemes available to help with home adaptations, improvements and repairs
- alternative housing options
- local authority funding processes
- how to complete forms for local authority funding
- legal entitlements.
They can also provide practical help and technical advice, including:
- home visits and inspections
- advice on the scale and cost of any necessary works
- help with choosing a reputable and reliable builder
- monitoring the builder’s performance
- appropriate contracts and documentation.
HIAs can sometimes help by providing additional housing-based services for vulnerable people: for example, a handyperson, decorator or gardener who can carry out work at your home, often at a reduced rate.
Some HIAs work with local health services to arrange urgent adaptations for patients waiting to return home after a stay in hospital.
How can I find a local Home Improvement Agency?
Local HIAs can be found all over the UK and you can search for them on the Home Improvement Agencies website.
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