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Housing Plus
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2010 Summary

Housing Plus is a program helps low-income elderly or disabled residents within nine Milwaukee area neighborhoods remain safely living in their home. The Housing Plus team is composed of UWM occupational therapists, a project contractor and a project coordinator. The UWM portion of the team is 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 are from the program's major partner, Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee.

The Housing Plus program partners with Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee for homeowner referrals. Referrals are based on a need for services beyond simple home repairs. After receiving a referral, the Housing Plus Team conducts 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 determines priority of the repairs and services to ensure emergency modifications are made as soon as possible. If emergency repairs are present, the project contractor will repair them immediately. The UWM portion of the team reviews assistive technology available to fulfill homeowner needs and compiles a report outlining appropriate modifications and services. These services may include programs which may be 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 provides criteria Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee contractors and volunteers will follow during annual rebuilding days when all repairs are completed.

From March to September 2010, Housing Plus assessed 25 homes in fulfillment of their mission to promoting aging in place, improving homeowner safety to prevent injury, increase function 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. Please feel free to download these tools in their entirety for use in similar projects.

Housing Plus Resources