St Albans City and District Council has announced that it is joining the Hertfordshire Home Improvement Agency (HHIA) to deliver grant-funded assistive technologies and adaptations to residents.

The council is combining with several other local authorities to provide the shared service to those eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant with the hope to provide a more effective and efficient service residents and achieve greater value for money.

Improvements include features such as ramps for wheelchairs, grab rails, shower chairs and stair lifts.

HHIA will provide its service to owner occupiers as well as private sector and housing association tenants and the council will continue to provide a disability facilities, aids and adaptations service to its own tenants.

Planning enforcement, building control and internal audit services began to be shared earlier this year while the legal service is scheduled to be shared from early next year.

Councillor Jacqui Taylor, Chair of the Housing and Inclusion Committee, said: “Pooling our resources with other Councils as part of the Hertfordshire Home Improvement Agency will have many benefits.

“Our residents who qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant will have access to a wide range of expert advice and it will ensure a resilient and high quality service.

“It will also allow our housing team to focus on the needs of our own Council tenants, providing any disability adaptations that they may require.

“This initiative further demonstrates our commitment to seek out opportunities to collaborate with neighbouring Councils and strengthen the services that we deliver.”

The other local authorities within HHIA are Hertfordshire County Council and the District Councils of Broxbourne, East Herts, North Herts, Stevenage and Watford.

Recently, research revealed a large number of Brits do not believe their current home is accessible.

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