At the end of 2021 changes were agreed to the Council’s discretionary assistance for disabled people under the terms of the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance)(England & Wales) Order 2002. The changes are as follows:
No means testing for works costing under £10,000
This applies to owner-occupiers and private tenants. Separate funding agreements already exist for social housing tenants.
Discretionary disabled facilities grant
This grant is subject to funding being available. Each case is looked at on its merits, considering savings, income / expenditure and the level of work recommended. A further local land charge will be placed against the property to cover the cost of this grant for a 10 year period.
This grant can cover:
- Unforeseen works up to £10,000
- Top up funding of up to £10,000 where the cost of works exceed the maximum permitted under a mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant
- Help of up to £10,000 with the contribution calculated under the formal means test
This can cover reasonable costs of moving to a more suitable property. For an owner-occupier, reasonable costs can include all fees associated with the move, including stamp duty. The grant will be registered as a local land charge against the new property for 10 years in the case of an owner-occupier.
For tenants of both privately rented and social housing, a grant can be given to cover all reasonable costs associated with moving to a more suitable property but they would be limited to 1 grant in any 3 year period.
This grant can also be used where someone needs to temporarily move out of their property to allow the building works associated with a Disabled Facilities Grant to go ahead – it would cover rent of a suitable alternative property for the duration of the building work.
Necessary works grant
Each case is considered on its merits but generally the work would be expected to fall within one of the following categories:
- Non-structural works to a property to allow Disabled Facilities Grant works to go ahead (available for all tenures). This might include specialist cleaning or removal of furniture etc
- Other essential repairs to a property to allow hospital discharge (owner-occupiers only)
- Minor works to make the property suitable for a specific need – eg dementia or visual impairment – works such as creating colour contrasts within the property (all tenures)