Sussex Home Improvement Agency aims to connect central Sussex residents to local service providers who can then assist them with ‘Staying Independent’. Sussex HIA acts as the central link between the referred Central Sussex resident and the active local housing, adaptation and repairs services.  Following referral professional staff look to offer residents information and advice on meeting identified needs as well as to considering additional needs raised in the assessment.

If you want to refer yourself or someone else who would benefit from one or more of the service headings covered through Sussex HIA, contact us on 020 3198 8945 or email Sussex HIA  More information about eligibility is found hereTo provide fuller details please use the referral form.

Sussex HIA is continually looking out for new locally available services with which it can work.  If your service is not mentioned please make contact with us so we can start working together.

Areas for support

  • Concerned about falling – measurers to increase your confidence, fitting mopstick and grab rails
  • Energy efficiency around the home – small works
  • Financial matters with energy – changing energy providers
  • Feeling lonely or isolated – befriending services
  • Fire safety around the home – fitting fire safety precautions
  • Suitable access in and out of your property – provide a ramp with galvanised rails
  • Not managing daily tasks around your home – food preparation or moving between floors
  • Landlord and tenant issues – are you a private renter
  • Decorating or small jobs around the home
  • Compulsive Hoarding and controlling clutter
  • Home Security and burglary aftercare
  • Helping with funding to make emergency gas safety repairs

Concerned about falling

Have you had a fall in the last 12 months or are you concerned about falling?  Do you find it difficult raising yourself out of a chair?  If you have answered ‘Yes’ to any of those questions you will be eligible for an assessment to ascertain the best way to help you.  It may be that some simple adaptations around the home can be made e.g. fitting a mop stick rail to assist you walking up the stairs; or grab rail fitted in the bathroom to help you out of the bath preventing a fall.  There may be trip hazard inside the home such as loose carpet, floor-boards, inappropriately placed electricity cords or uneven steps, or you may require a light-bulb changing or curtains hanging. We can place you in touch with a Handy Person service or a trusted local tradesmen who will be able to tackle these jobs, especially if you live alone or do not have anyone that can assist you with small tasks around the home.

Energy efficiency around the home to help keep the home warm

With fuel prices increasing, becoming more energy efficient around the home can save you money and help you keep warm.  If you have concerns about how energy efficient your house is, or want ideas of simple measures you can take to save energy then we can refer you to the appropriate services.  Small measures such as:

  • Radiator foils
  • Draught  excluders for doors and windows
  • Bleeding radiators
  • Insulation
  • Boiler check
  • Heating and thermostat control check

We can put you in touch with various Handy Person services or local tradesmen who can undertake these small jobs around the home and also give a full energy assessment if necessary.

Financial matters with energy around the home

Are you concerned you are paying too much on your energy bills? You may be able to save on your energy costs by switching to a different supplier or tariff.  This won’t involve any physical change to the pipes or cables that you receive your energy through, but your billing and payments will be with a different company.  There are several energy companies and pricing schemes available to choose from.

Sussex HIA can put you in touch with organisations that will help you assess the best energy deals that are available to you to suit your situation.  Additional assistance can be given to help change providers if that is what you would like to do.

Help can also give you advice on budgeting and managing your finances relating to energy costs so you can manage your bills in a more consistent way and don’t receive any nasty surprises.

Fire safety around the home

Do you have smoke detectors fitted and have they been recently tested and are working? In the event of a fire, is the emergency exit route planned and clear from clutter? The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is keen to visit homes in the district and carry out fire safety audits and fit and check smoke alarms for their resident.

If you are friend or relative and are worried about an individual as they are a heavy smoker indoors, cook with an open flame, or perhaps have a large amount of clutter that would prevent a timely escape in the event of a fire, please contact Sussex HIA and will we place you in touch with the WSFRS who will come out to the property and undertake a fire safety assessment or simply give advice and support.

Feeling isolated or lonely or require support

Do you live alone? Are you housebound and aged over 60?  It is possible to assist you with information to ensure you are receiving all the services you are eligible for.  We may also be able to arrange for a regular visitor or phone call from a volunteer for some company through a befriending service.

Likewise, do you a care for someone over the age of 60, or are you a carer over the age of 60?  Many people find difficulty getting the services and support they require to continue the work they do. Sussex HIA can put you in touch with services that can assist you and provide that extra support.

Gardening Services

Should your garden or front hedge be overgrown and proving to be a security risk or is not enabling you to go outside safety due to trip hazards, in these circumstances we can put you in touch with organisations who can come and undertake the work either for free or for a small charitable donation.

Current services are not for general regular maintenance, but more if there is a real need and the householder does not have anyone who can assist with helping out in the garden.

Decorating or small jobs around the home

If you live alone or don’t have a friend or relative living nearby it can be difficult to get small jobs done around the home.  You may be tempted to undertake the job yourself e.g. changing a light bulb or hanging curtains.  This could put you in danger of having a fall, particularly if the job requires climbing on a chair or small steps and you have a tendency to be unsteady on your feet.  Sussex HIA can put you in touch with various organisations who work with a variety of trusted decorating and Handy Person services who will visit your home to carry out the tasks you require.

Landlord / Tenant issues

Do you currently rent from a landlord?  Well over a quarter of the residents of central Sussex rent their properties from either the social sector or using private landlords.  From time to time the property falls into disrepair or issues with the tenancy agreement or deposit arise.  Sussex HIA can help you get support to improve poor conditions, make homes more energy efficient or advise on how to deal with a tenancy problem that has arisen.  This could include a referral to the Tenancy Support Service or Private Sector Housing Enforcement Team.

Not managing daily tasks around the home or access in and out of the property

At times in life we are unable to complete the daily tasks that we used to do in a breeze.  Do you have trouble getting in and out of the front or back door to your home?  Do you find climbing the stairs a challenge? Are you finding it difficult to wash yourself?  Being safe and confident in your home needs you to be able to manage these tasks.  Getting older, recovering from an accident or managing a long term condition can all make these tasks more challenging; you can, e.g. feel that you are a little unsteady on your feet.  To help you, Sussex HIA can put you in touch with organisations that could visit you in your home and carry out a full assessment of your needs.  It could be remedied by supporting you improve mobility, ensuring your medicines are reviewed or by a simple addition such as a grab rail that will allow you to access your home without fear of falling.  Alternately it could be making adjustments to steps so that you are able to enter and leave the property safely or perhaps introducing care support so that you can manage tasks such as washing more ably.

Compulsive Hoarding

Compulsive hoarding means excessively acquiring items that appear of little or no value and not being able to throw them away, resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter.  It is considered to be a significant problem when:

• the amount of clutter interferes with everyday living – e.g. someone is unable to use the kitchen or bathroom, increases the  risk of having a fall or creates a fire hazard

• the clutter is causing significant distress or negatively affecting a person’s ability to function – e.g. their social life, employment and maintaining a safe environment

People with hoarding difficulties may suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which may or may not be directly connected to their clutter problem. Hoarding is also often associated with other forms of anxiety and depression.

Sussex HIA looks to identify services that can support people who are hoarding to free space and reduce the fire and health risks.  If you are a friend, relative or front line office please get in touch with Sussex HIA to see if we can be of assistance.

Home Security and Burglary aftercare

Do you have any home security concerns, e.g. an overgrown hedge, inadequate or broken locks, or have you been a victim of crime or targeted by Rogue Traders?  Sussex HIA can put you in contact with various organisations which offer advice and support regarding personal safety or measures you can take to ensure your home remains as secure as possible.

Suitable access in and out of your property

Do you find it hard to get down the steps to the front of your property?  Are the steps to the rear a challenge that you are not comfortable completing? Can small changes take place to help you with managing this more easily?  Sussex HIA can advise on how to go about making access in and out of your property easier.