Care and repair in Scotland
If you are older or disabled and need repairs, improvements or adaptations carried out in your home, you may be able to get help from a Care and Repair service. This page explains what Care and Repair services do and who is eligible for help.
What is Care and Repair?
If you're older or disabled, carrying out repairs or adaptations to your home may seem a daunting or even impossible task. Care and Repair services offer advice and help with housing repairs, improvements and adaptations, to help you maintain and modify your home so it remains suitable for your needs.
The service provided by Care and Repair, and the organisation providing it, differs from council to council. Generally, however, the services are funded by local councils. Check your council's website or the Care and Repair Forum to find out what's on offer in your area. There are Care and Repair offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and almost all other major towns in Scotland including the Highlands and islands.
Who can get help from Care and Repair?
You may be able to get help from Care and Repair if:
you are over the age of 60 or have a disability, and
you own your home or rent from a private landlord.
Some Care and Repair services may also help:
crofting tenants (particularly in the Highlands and Islands)
people who have been in hospital.
Some services offer priority to certain groups of people, such as people over the age of 75, or for certain types of work, such as minor or urgent repairs.
What does Care and Repair do?
The services offered by Care and Repair vary from council to council, but usually one or more of the following are available:
advice and information
help with major repairs and adaptations
small repairs services
Advice and information
Care and repair advice services can include:
advice on the kind of repairs, improvements or adaptations you could get done to make your life easier
signposting to other services that can help you
advice on how to employ tradespeople and arrange for repairs or improvements to be carried out
recommendations of affordable, reliable tradespeople
advice on keeping your home warm and dry
Major repairs and adaptations
Some Care and Repair services also offer help with major repair, improvement or adaptation projects. For example, Care and Repair staff can:
help you work out what kind of repair or adaptation work needs to be carried out
get estimates to find out how much the work will cost
help you apply for grants and loans to fund the work
arrange for any building warrants or planning permission required
help you find reliable contractors to carry out the work
oversee projects while they're being carried out
help you cope at home while repairs are being done, or find you somewhere else to stay if this isn't possible
inspect the work to make sure it's done properly.
Small repairs services
If your home needs minor repairs or adaptations carried out and you can't manage it yourself or find a reliable tradesperson to do it for you, you may be able to get help from Care and Repair. For example, you may be able to get help with:
putting up shelves
fixing dripping taps
cleaning out drains and gutters
fitting new locks or a door chain.
Some Care and Repair services can also arrange for a handyperson (often a trainee or volunteer) to come round to your home to carry out DIY activities that don't need to be carried out by a professional tradesperson. For example, you may be able to get a handyperson in to replace light bulbs, hang curtains or unblock a sink.
How do I get Care and Repair services?
Before you can get Care and Repair services, the council will need to assess your needs to see if you qualify. This assessment may be carried out over the phone (for example, if you need a handyperson to come round) or may involve a home visit, if you need more major work carried out. You can also arrange for someone to visit you in your home to discuss the kind of repairs or adaptations you could get done to help you live independently. Bear in mind that there may be a waiting list for Care and Repair services.
If you're not eligible for assistance from Care and Repair, you'll be sent a letter listing other services that might be able to help you.
How do I pay for Care and Repair?
Some Care and Repair services, such as minor repairs and handyperson services, are provided free of charge, although you will still have to pay for the materials. For example, if you want some shelves put up, you will have to pay for the shelves. However, your council may have a hardship fund to cover the cost of materials if you're on a very low income, or if the repairs are necessary for your health and safety.
You may also be able to get financial help for:
essential equipment from your council - for example, you may be able to get help to pay for handrails, ramps and other adaptations. Contact the council to find out more.
adaptations, through a grant from the council
priority or specific work - for example, some Care and Repair services fit home security devices such as window locks and door chains free of charge.
You can find out more about paying for adaptations and equipment.
Care and Repair staff will be able to give you advice on budgeting for repair work and applying for funding, and can help you fill in application forms for grants and loans.
Where can I find out more?
You can find out more about Care and Repair and find contact details for your nearest service at the Care and Repair Forum website.
Last updated: 8 June 2017