Housing assistance policy
Types of assistance
Mandatory disabled facilities grants
A mandatory disabled facilities grant (DFG) is a statutory grant that all local authorities must make available. The grant is paid when we consider it necessary, appropriate, practical and reasonable to adapt a residential property to meet the access needs of a person with a disability. Grants for over 18s are means-tested and repayment conditions may apply. There is a £30,000 maximum amount set for a mandatory DFG. Further details on the grant, eligibility criteria and terms and conditions are in appendix 1.
The aim of the discretionary grants is to help vulnerable members of the community where the mandatory DFG is insufficient to cover the full cost of the works or where the works are outside of the eligibility criteria. However, completing them would provide significant benefits to the applicant and/or their family or carers and would create savings to the wider public purse. Further details on all the discretionary grants can be found in appendix 2.
Discretionary grants may not always be available. They are dependent on available funding each financial year. The funding priority will be for mandatory DFGs.
To top up the financial assistance for adaptation works where the cost exceeds the DFG maximum (currently £30,000). The amount of top up assistance in such circumstances must be reasonable up to a maximum of £10,000. We reserve the right to consider alternative solutions where they appear more cost effective, reasonable, practicable or appropriate. It is expected that other funding sources will also be sought by the applicant or home improvement agency including landlord contributions and charity applications.
In some instances it may not be possible to adapt accommodation to meet the needs of the disabled occupant or the works required would be so major that it would not be cost effective. A discretionary relocation grant, which is means tested, provides assistance to move by helping with removal costs and legal expenses.
Support for essential repairs that otherwise present hazards to health
To assist residents whose health is being affected by hazards to health in the home that will otherwise exacerbate existing health conditions and create ill health or hospital admissions. Examples include repairs to heating and hot water provision, first time heating, preventing falls or accidents, preventing damp conditions and support to clear hoarded properties. This would be applicable where the hazard has been assessed under the housing health and safety rating system as a serious hazard to health.
This is to support registered providers working with the authority to achieve the aims of our housing strategy and can include:
- applications for creating 'accessible' supported housing provision for disabled people in housing need
- applications to create a 'safer' living environment for people who have experienced domestic violence or other forms of hate crime