Care and Repair services operate throughout Scotland to offer independent advice and assistance to help homeowners repair, improve or adapt their homes so that they can live in comfort and safety in their own community.
The service is available to owner-occupiers, private tenants and crofters who are aged over 60 or who have a disability. However, each local authority is able to decide what financial assistance it provides to owners and therefore there will be local variations in what grants are available.
In the early 1980s, a handful of concerned people turned their attention to the problems faced by older homeowners who lived in very poor housing and yet lacked the resources or skills needed to address the problem.
There was also an apparent trend that some homeowners were deciding to enter into residential or sheltered accommodation, because their house was in such a poor state of repair.
And so the early Care and Repair schemes began with the aim of improving the quality of older people's lives through improving their housing conditions. The demand for this type of assistance was quickly established and there are now over 300 services in the UK, with similar organisations in Ireland, Canada and Australia.
Care and Repair services offer personal, financial and technical support to people facing the difficult task of repairing, improving or adapting a home which is no longer suitable to the person's needs.
The provision of advice and information is a central part of Care and Repair's role, as well as providing practical assistance with finance applications and co-ordinating repairs. Care and Repair is a home-based and personalised service, which puts the client in control of decisions.
Staff visit people at home and assist them through the entire process of deciding what work is to be done, arranging finance and organising the building works.
Each case involves a different approach and often staff must cross disciplinary and departmental boundaries, working closely with health, housing and social work staff.
The building work is funded in a variety of ways, including local authority grants, benefits, equity release, home loans, and charitable funds.