Housing support changes approved

A major project spearheaded by Blaby District Council is to be rolled out across the county to streamline housing support.

Lightbulb, a collaboration between the county and district councils and other local partners aims to help older and vulnerable people stay safe and keep well in their homes for as long as possible by bringing together a range of support.

The project is backed by a £1m government transformation award.

Support available through Lightbulb includes aids and adaptations, energy advice, home safety and home maintenance.

Approved by Blaby District councillors on Tuesday 13 December, the next phase of the project will include roll out across all local authorities within Leicestershire, subject to each individual council’s approval, by October 2017.

Existing pilot projects have highlighted the potential to save up to £1.9m per year annually by joining up public health, housing and social care resources by preventing many avoidable incidents and improving the home environment.

Avoidable incidents include:

  • Falls at home
  • Improving mobility around the home
  • Addressing hoarding or poor heating
  • Making adjustments at home following a period of illness or injury

These can often involve simple solutions such as moving furniture, changing the use of rooms, installing fixtures/fittings or may require more major adaptations such as ramps or bathroom alternations.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said:

“The approval of the next phase of Lightbulb is fantastic news for the project and for vulnerable people across Leicestershire.

“This is a unique opportunity for partnership working to improve existing services for those that need them, whilst also making significant savings.

“We are delighted to have taken such a key role in this project’s successes.”

Quin Quinney, Group Manager of Community Services at Blaby District Council, said:

“We have been proud to pilot and host the Lightbulb project. The fantastic hard work of our dedicated team has and will continue to improve housing support for vulnerable people and ensure all councils across Leicestershire will see the benefits.”

Councillor Ernie White, Leicestershire County Council’s cabinet member for health, said:

“Lightbulb brings together, through one point of contact, a range of support such as aids and adaptations, energy advice, home safety and home maintenance to help people stay safe and independent. Before Lightbulb, housing services were too fragmented.”

[Source/photo: Blaby District Council Communications]
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