Oxford residents affected by living in cold or damp homes are able to receive grants of up to £2,500 to help keep their homes warmer.
The Better Housing, Better Health scheme aims to reduce the pressure on health services, improve health and wellbeing for those living with cardiovascular disease or respiratory illness, and reduce fuel poverty.
The scheme, which runs until December 2016, provides:
- Grants of up to £2,500 for energy efficiency measures for owner occupied homes where someone has a respiratory illness or cardiovascular disease. Measures can include installing insulation and draught-proofing, and replacing outside doors or windows
- Free surveys to identify potential risks to health in owner occupied and privately rented homes where someone has a respiratory illness or cardiovascular disease
- Support with benefits checks, fuel debt mediation and switching energy tariff or supplier for anyone in need of support.
Oxford residents can quickly check if they are eligible by calling the Affordable Warmth Helpline on 0800 107 00 44.
The helpline, which also provides free and impartial advice about how to keep homes warm, is open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
An email helpdesk is also available: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fuel poverty – being unable to afford to keep your home adequately heated – affected about 11.9 per cent of Oxford’s households in 2013 (6,804 of the city’s 57,017 households). This compares to 8.2 per cent of households across Oxfordshire (21,799 of county’s 266,571 households).
In 2012/13, 90 people died as a result of cold weather in Oxford.
Better Housing, Better Health has been launched by the National Energy Foundation, working in partnership with Oxford City Council and ten other local authorities across Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, with funding from the British Gas Energy Trust.
Councillor John Tanner, Executive Board Member for Climate Change, said: “It is shocking that almost 7,000 households in Oxford cannot afford to properly heat their homes and that 90 people died from cold weather in 2012/13. That is why Oxford City Council is supporting this important scheme.
“If you are struggling to keep your home warm at the moment, please get in touch with the Affordable Warmth Helpline by calling 0800 107 00 44.”
For more information about Better Housing, Better Health, please visit www.nef.org.uk/bhbh.