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Councillors are likely to back a new updated policy that will enable more people with disabilities to access funding for housing adaptions.

The Disabled Facilities Grant is funding for equipment like stair lifts or more accessible showers in the home that helps people to move around and access their own home.

Currently awards through the grant scheme are mandatory but by agreeing a new updated Housing Assistance Policy it would enable the Council to use a more discretionary approach to the awarding of grants.

Councillors will consider the proposed change to the Housing Assistance Policy at its Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 12 July.

Cllr Mal Mutton, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “The change is important as we will be able to take a more flexible approach to help more people who apply to us for funds.

“When people live independently it is so much better for their health and wellbeing.”

A new policy will mean Grants awards that do not exceed £6,000 would no longer need a financial assessment while there will be a new option to top-up grants that exceed £30,000.

The policy would include discretionary use of the grant for heating and insulation and funding respite care when adaptations are being made.

She added: “In the current scheme people who are working in the household, and therefore have a regular income, are disadvantaged because in the current scheme it is assumed they have the capacity to fund a loan.

“This doesn’t take into account their outgoings and their ability to repay the loan – we want to be able to recognise this in our assessments.”

Cllr Mutton also said: “The discretionary approach will help reduce hospital admissions and also allow earlier discharges from hospital.

“We will also be able to support more people who are not eligible for standard DFG assistance.”

On average the Council deals with around 400 referrals every year. Around 15 per cent of these either do not progress or are delayed due to financial assessments.

Published: Tuesday, 5th July 2022