The Scheme of Assistance, introduced by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, represented a major change in the way the Council helps homeowners meet the challenge of improving the quality and management of their housing.
It reflects the fact that owners are ultimately responsible for maintaining and repairing their properties and recognises that public money should only support owners’ repairs and maintenance where it is strictly necessary or where no other suitable alternative exists.
Each local authority is required, under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006, to prepare and make publicly available a statement of the circumstances in which it will offer assistance to those in private sector housing.
In Orkney, the Scheme of Assistance is provided by the Orkney Care and Repair team, on behalf of the Council. Care and Repair is now managed by, and integrated within, Orkney Housing Association Limited (OHAL).
Based in Victoria Street, Kirkwall, Care and Repair offers a range of advice and assistance to anyone requiring information about the repair, improvement and adaptation of their homes and this can include practical assistance in relation to the actual works required including the appointment of contractors and project supervision.
Grant assistance is available to cover essential repairs to vulnerable individuals up to a ceiling of £3,500.
Primary responsibility for repairing and maintaining privately owned houses, lies with the owner. In Orkney, access to improvement and repair grants is now severely restricted but Disabled Grants which permit houses to be adapted to suit the needs of disabled occupants remain mandatory.
Orkney Care and Repair, 39a Victoria Street, Kirkwall KW15 1DN.
Telephone OHAL on 01856873369.