William Eichler 22 February 2018

Housing adaptation system ‘complicated, reactive and unfair’

Housing adaptation system ‘complicated, reactive and unfair’ image

The housing adaptation system in Wales is ‘complicated, reactive and unfair’ and does not deliver for those who need it, auditors warn.

Housing adaptations, as well as allowing older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes, offer an effective way of making the best use of the existing housing stock.

However, a new report from the Auditor General for Wales warns the current system for delivering housing adaptations needs to change in order to meet the needs of older and disabled people.

It found assessment processes are not streamlined or efficient. This leads to delays which, in turn, can lead to someone having to move into specialist care.

The complex systems used to deliver adaptations make it difficult for people to get the help they need and often stops health professionals from using adaptation services, the report noted.

The auditor also found there was not enough joined up working between agencies and local authorities which is making it harder for those in need to access services.

The adaptations disabled and older people can receive are also often determined by where they live and who they seek help from rather than their need, according to the report.

It also warned public bodies are not improving performance because of limited oversight.

In Wales there are 70 agencies delivering housing adaptation services to over 32,000 people a year. An estimated £60m of public money is spent on these services a year.

‘Demand for housing adaptations is projected to rise. That’s why it’s so important that public bodies improve how they deliver adaptations and address the many weaknesses in the current complicated and inefficient system,’ said auditor general, Huw Vaughan-Thomas.

‘People deserve the very best standard of service to help them live independently.

‘Unfortunately, public bodies have failed to address some long standing weaknesses in current arrangements and disabled and older people are the ones losing out. This needs to change.’

Welcoming the Auditor General for Wales’ report on housing adaptations, Cllr Aaron Shotton, WLGA spokesperson for housing said: 'As the Auditor General’s report highlights, local authorities and their partners deliver housing adaptations for more than 32,000 people a year, enabling them to carry on living as independently as possible in their own homes.

'Customer satisfaction is generally high, but local authorities will examine the report’s recommendations and will look to improve the planning and delivery of adaptations services, wherever possible.'

Keeping the safety net image

Keeping the safety net

Local authority leadership is invaluable to Transitional Safeguarding and councils are ideally placed to enable complexity-attuned commissioning, says Dez Holmes.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Director of Adult Social Care (DASS)

Hull City Council
£98,166 - £98,166
We are now seeking to recruit an exceptional transformational leader to build on our existing success. Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: Hull City Council

Senior Building Surveyor

Bedford Borough Council
£34,728 - £36,880 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen following a comprehensive restructure of Economic Growth and Property. Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Planning Officer

Three Rivers District Council
£30,451 to £33,782 (exc. LW)
We are looking to appoint a Senior Planning Officer. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Three Rivers District Council

Insurance Manager

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£43,833 to £53,115 per annum
An opportunity has arisen for a skilled and experienced insurance professional to lead a busy and friendly Insurance Team providing a... Wandsworth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue