Housing Plus 2 Historical Review
Housing Plus was a program helps low-income elderly or disabled residents within nine Milwaukee area neighborhoods remain safely living in their home. The Housing Plus team was composed of UWM occupational therapists, a project contractor and a project coordinator. The UWM portion of the team was made up of two registered occupational therapists, Roger O. Smith and Sandy Ceranski, and four students in the UWM Occupational Science and Technology Program: bachelor students Kati Liegl and Autumn Milanowski and graduate level students Kristen Lueck and Lindsey Fletcher. The Housing Plus coordinator and project contractor were from the program’s major partner, Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee.
The Housing Plus program partnered with Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee for homeowner referrals. Referrals were based on a need for services beyond simple home repairs. After receiving a referral, the Housing Plus Team conducted a home assessment to determine the homeowner’s needs, the scope of home repairs and accessibility modifications required to improve home safety, functionality and comfort. Following the home assessment, the team determined priority of the repairs and services to ensure emergency modifications were made as soon as possible. If emergency repairs were present, the project contractor would repair them immediately. The UWM portion of the team reviewed assistive technology available to fulfill homeowner needs and compiled a report outlining appropriate modifications and services. These services may have included programs which may have been housing related (i.e. programs for repairs to the foundation or roof) or non-housing related (i.e. programs providing transportation, caregiver support, meals at home or health promotion groups). This report also provided criteria that Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee contractors and volunteers would follow during annual rebuilding days when all repairs were completed.
From March to September 2010, Housing Plus assessed 25 homes in fulfillment of their mission to promote aging in place, improving homeowner safety to prevent injury, increase functioning and independence in daily activities, and enhance quality of life. The Housing Plus program created several tools to aid therapists and volunteers during assessments. These resources include: Housing Plus Commonly Used Products binder, Housing Plus Occupational Therapy Checklist, Housing Plus Acute Assessment (HPA2) and Proper Use of a Walker information sheet. Throughout the year Housing Plus members also assembled health promotion sheets for homeowner education.