HL Deb 22 March 1984 vol 449 cc1463-4WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What improvements in central and local government procedures and organisation they have in mind to help elderly owner-occupiers more easily to maintain and adapt their homes for life-time occupation, both in Great Britain and in Northern Ireland.

Lord Skelmersdale

Many valuable measures already taken to help elderly people, including elderly owner-occupiers, to maintain and improve their homes are illustrated in the Department of the Environment's film, "Housing for the Elderly". This is being shown to local authorities and other interested organisations throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to encourage the development of housing opportunities for the elderly.

The Government accept that most elderly people want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Home improvement grants can assist with the works of repair and adaptation that will often be required. In the Housing Act 1980, we introduced a more flexible grant system, enabling local authorities in England and Wales to give grant for work carried out in stages, and approve limited works, for the particular benefit of elderly applicants on low incomes. Consideration is now being given to further initiatives in the context of the general review of private sector improvement policy in Great Britain. These studies will be considered closely by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland.

The homes insulation scheme provides grant aid, up to a maximum of £95, for the elderly on low incomes. We intend shortly to extend this scheme to assist with the further insulation of dwellings with 25mm or less of existing loft insulation.