More elderly and disabled residents will be able to make adaptations to their homes so they can live independently and safely thanks to an extra £42 million of government funding confirmed by Housing and Homelessness Minister Heather Wheeler today (24 January 2018).
The funding for local housing authorities can be used to make a range of adaptations to a disabled or elderly person’s home. Some of these changes are low cost but can make a big difference to the person’s quality of life such as grab rails which can be installed for as little as £30 but can prevent a serious fall. Other changes include:
- ramps and stair lifts to ensure they can access all parts of their homes safely
- widening of doors to help those who are wheelchair bound to move freely around their home
- level access showers and raised toilets so that people can continue to live independently and with dignity in their home
- accessible gardens so they can continue to enjoy the simple pleasures of their garden
- home extensions which can include the construction of downstairs bedrooms and bathrooms to ensure that disabled or elderly people do not have to risk moving between floors
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler said:
The government is committed to helping older and disabled people live independently and safely and this extra funding will ensure more people are getting the help they need.
Even a small adaptation to a home can make a big difference and help ensure people can stay in their home and do not have to struggle with the stairs or in simply taking a bath or shower.
The £42 million boost in funding was announced as part of the Autumn Budget and will be additional funding for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). The £42 million will be in addition to the £431 million the government has already pledged to the DFG for the 2017 to 2018 financial year.
The councils who have been allocated the largest share of the extra funding are:
- Birmingham (£1,007,785)
- Manchester (£675,147)
- Leeds (£649,541)
- Liverpool (£590,796)
- Cornwall (£527,533)
The DFG is a capital grant paid from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to local authorities in England to adapt older and disabled people’s homes to help them to live independently and safely. Adaptations can include ramps, stair lifts and suitable heating systems.
Eligibility is subject to a means test. There is an upper limit of £30,000 per eligible applicant although children aged 17 years and under are not means tested. The average grant is around £6,500.
Picture courtesy of Peoplecreations.