D&G Council “Scheme of Assistance” Announces Funding for 2017/18

DUMFRIES and Galloway Council’s Scheme of Assistance programmes continue to go from strength to strength. Members of the Council’s Housing Sub Committee heard of the continued progress at their meeting on 6th March 2017.

Members of Housing Sub Committee agreed to recommend that Dumfries and Galloway Council transfer £1.198m from the Council’s capital allocations within its 2017/18 budget settlement to Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Joint Integration Board to support the ongoing delivery of the Care and Repair service. The Care and Repair Service which is managed through Loreburn Housing Assoc., provides grants for mandatory and discretionary housing adaptations for people with disabilities in the private housing sector. These grants help maintain people’s independence at home and support carers for as long as possible.
Members also agreed to recommend the allocation of £149,000 to the Integration joint Board (IJB) to fund the Small Repairs and Home Support Services: known as ‘The HandyVan’. This will be a continuation of funding at the same level as last year with the allocation coming from income from Council Tax on second homes. The HandyVan service is a free region wide service for vulnerable people, who meet the criteria, and carries out small repairs and home support services. While not exhaustive, the service provides practical assistance to all those eligible for home security, smoke alarms, small repairs, falls prevention, adaptations, and portable appliance testing. The ‘HandyVan’ also establish policies and procedures, obtain necessary authorisations for works, recruit, train and support volunteers and signpost other services including the Trusted Trader Scheme.


The same method and continuation of funding was also agreed, with a further £37,400 allocated to the IJB in order to fund Food Train Extra and help with costs. Food Train Extra helps older people with small household jobs that do not require skilled trades people. This service delivers work such as smoke alarm checks, light bulb changing, home safety jobs, duvet changing and freezer defrosting. These costs include a proportion of the Development Officers costs related to Food Train Extra, volunteer costs including training and expenses, materials for service provision and vehicle costs.

The Council’s Trusted Trader Scheme continues to grow exponentially. The aim of the scheme is to boost consumer confidence in the home improvement sector and to reduce the number of consumer complaints. Members have now agreed to allocate £30k to support the sustained development of the scheme for a further 3 year period. The scheme was formally launched in March 2015 with 40 member traders. By 31 December 2016 there were 132 traders registered. With 171 applications received and nine pending the scheme has exceeded expectations in terms of both membership and impact as the original target was to have 100 traders accepted onto the scheme. Estimated work carried out by participants in the scheme is now in excess of £1.6m.

Chair of Housing Sub Committee, Councillor Craig Peacock commented: “ I am delighted with the progress of all strands of our Scheme of Assistance programme. The results show that all our investment has been worthwhile.
Our Committee today also noted that our Council have agreed to allocate £1million from Council Tax on Second Homes to a Town Centre Living Fund. This is an important step forward. Anything which will increase the availability of residential accommodation in these locations should be welcomed.

Although the Scheme of Assistance falls under the remit of our Housing Sub-Committee it is not just about buildings and adapting properties. These topics cover a wide range of issues such as homelessness and Anti -Poverty and relate to protecting our most vulnerable people: one of our Council’s top priorities. “

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