Range of measures aimed at improving living conditions

Burnley Council is set to update its private sector housing renewal policy to provide a wider range of financial assistance to help improve the conditions of homes across the borough.

A number of new measures are being put forward for approval by the council’s executive when it meets on 16th March. These include:

· A handyperson service to provide practical support, such as carrying out a wide range of household jobs, for older and disabled people to help them maintain independent living

· Decluttering and cleaning grant (up to £5,000) – to help residents with a hoarding disorder where they have accumulated an excessive number of items. The grant would pay for the hiring of skips and contractors to clear the items, deep cleans and counselling.

· Safe and secure grant (up to £4,000) – to help older and disabled residents feel safe in their homes. The money would pay for home security.

· Hospital discharge grant (up to £2,000) – to support people who are vulnerable or disabled to return home after hospital treatment. It would pay for work to clean up their home or make it safe for their return.

Other proposals include increasing the amount of grant and loans already available through the council, for example the heating rebate grant (from £300 to £400) which helps pay for new boilers, to help boost support for those in need.

All the proposed changes would be funded through a £2.7 million Better Care Fund which was allocated to the council last year.

A further proposal to increase the funding available through the empty homes loan scheme (from £20,000 to £25,000), which helps support bringing vacant properties back into use, is also set to be approved. This would be funded through the council’s housing capital programme.

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing, said: “This package of measures will help improve the quality of life for residents across our borough.

“The policy overhaul demonstrates our intentions to meet a wide variety of needs and ensure that that maximum number of residents can be helped to remain living in their own homes that are safe, comfortable and in good repair.

“These proposals will help provide a comprehensive range of financial assistance that will make a really positive impact on the day-to-day lives of people, as well as encouraging landlords to bring empty houses back into use.”

People can get more information on eligibility and apply for help by contacting the council’s Home Improvement Agency on 01282 425011 or email grants@burnley.gov.uk

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