Just Retirement is to pilot an equity release service with home improvement agency Foundations.
Over 240 case workers from 48 home improvement agencies (HIA) have received training from Just Retirement that will allow them to help those people who could potentially benefit from releasing equity held in their properties to help fund essential home repairs and adaptations.
During the six month pilot, clients who want to know more about equity release will be introduced to Just Retirement Solutions, which has created a special equity release product for Foundations. The plan has lower fees than standard and the option to add fees to the loan, plus a £700 cashback.
“This is a really positive development, not just for home improvement agencies and the clients they support but also vulnerable and older homeowners more generally,” said Andy Chaplin, director of Foundations.
“The number of older people is rising quickly and there are increasing numbers who own their own homes but are struggling with their day to day finances,” said Stephen Lowe, director of Just Retirement. “At a time when government funding is being squeezed, the result is people are unable to carry out essential home repairs and adaptations.
“We were keen to engage with Foundations because we firmly believe that where people have few other choices, equity release has the potential to transform vulnerable people’s lives, making it possible for them to continue to live more comfortably in their own homes.
“In many cases these people will have exhausted all their other options and there will be no other funding available. This project makes sure those considering equity release receive high quality professional advice and clearly understand their options. They will be encouraged to have a relative, friend or case worker involved and there will be no obligation to proceed.”
If the pilot is successful the plan is to roll it out to all 200 home improvement agencies across the country.