Disabled Amenities Grant (DFG) supply: Steerage for native authorities in England

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Dwelling variations are modifications made to the material and fixtures of a house to make it safer and simpler to get round and to make use of for on a regular basis duties like cooking and bathing. Adapting a house atmosphere can assist restore or allow impartial residing, privateness, confidence and dignity for people and their households. Variations can embrace the set up of stair-lifts, stage entry showers and wet-rooms, wash and dry bathrooms, ramps, wider doorways, and, in some situations, bespoke house extensions to present dwellings in addition to enhancements to entry to and from gardens. Heating programs, insulation and telecare and assistive expertise (the place it’s capital) will be different types of variations.

1.2 Disabled Amenities Grants are capital grants which might be accessible to individuals of all ages and in all housing tenures (i.e. whether or not renting privately, from a social landlord or council, or owner-occupiers) to contribute to the price of variations. They’re administered by native housing authorities in England and allow eligible disabled individuals to proceed residing safely and independently at house. This contains autistic individuals, these with a psychological well being situation, bodily disabilities, studying disabilities, cognitive impairments reminiscent of dementia, and progressive situations reminiscent of Motor Neurone Illness. It contains these affected by age-related disabilities and may also embrace these with terminal sickness. The DFG is considered one of a spread of housing assist measures {that a} native authority can use to assist allow individuals to reside independently and safely at house and of their communities.

1.3 This steering is to advise native authorities in England how they will successfully and effectively ship DFG funded variations to finest serve the wants of native older and disabled individuals. The steering will assist native authorities to fulfill their duties, together with authorized duties, and tailor native supply to assist their communities and the person wants of disabled individuals, their household and carers. It doesn’t make modifications in coverage, however as a substitute brings collectively and units out in a single place present coverage frameworks, legislative duties and powers, along with beneficial finest observe, to assist native authorities present a finest observe adaptation service to disabled tenants and residents of their space.

1.4 This publication follows calls from the house variations sector and native authorities for clearer steering round native DFG supply. It additionally follows the findings of the 2018 impartial evaluation of the DFG that beneficial new steering ought to set out expectations for native authorities in administering the DFG and the rights of a disabled particular person making an utility for the grant.

1.5 The Division for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and Division of Well being and Social Care (DHSC) have labored intently with Foundations (the nationwide physique for house enchancment companies) and engaged with key house variations sector companions, native authorities consultant organisations, and organisations which symbolize older and disabled individuals, to assist guarantee this steering builds on the wants of older and disabled individuals, the native authorities who ship the grant, and the broader house variations sector. We wish to take this chance to thank Foundations for his or her work in supporting us to assist formulate this steering.

Who is that this steering for?

1.6 This steering is geared toward native authority workers at each native housing authorities (district councils, London boroughs and different unitary councils) and authorities answerable for the availability of social care providers (county councils, London boroughs and different unitary councils). This contains these answerable for:

  • strategic planning to make sure house variations are thought-about in an built-in strategy to person-centred housing, well being and social care providers regionally. This contains the native Well being and Wellbeing Board, in addition to these answerable for creating Higher Care Fund plans
  • organising and managing the house variations service
  • figuring out and assessing the wants of candidates, and making suggestions on tips on how to meet these wants, together with Occupational Therapists and Trusted Assessors;
  • getting ready specs for variations and making different sensible preparations to place these suggestions into observe; and
  • administering the programs for offering monetary assist for variations, together with the Disabled Amenities Grant (DFG).

This steering is relevant to these managing council home variations and may additionally be useful for house enchancment companies and different associated service organisations in England answerable for organising the house variations service.

1.7 Members of the general public who wish to discover out extra in regards to the DFG and utility course of, together with disabled individuals, their household and carers, can discover extra details about the grant and how to apply or on their native housing authority web site.

1.8 Because the DFG is a devolved coverage and grant, this steering is geared toward English native authorities solely. The Nationwide Meeting for Wales has issued separate Disabled Amenities Grant recommendation for Welsh native authorities. Scotland and Northern Eire have separate schemes and grants accessible to eligible disabled individuals to adapt their properties. Hyperlinks to how DFGs are delivered in all 3 devolved nations will be discovered under.

1.9 In as far as this steering feedback on the legislation, this steering can solely mirror authorities departments’ understanding of it. Native authorities are suggested to hunt their very own authorized recommendation.

1.10 Extra steering and knowledge on finest observe from the broader house variations sector is highlighted the place related all through this doc and at Appendix D: Resources.

Utilizing this steering

1.11 This steering is split into 7 chapters, every providing recommendation for native authorities in areas necessary to native DFG supply, underpinned by the laws at Appendix B: The legislation.

  • Chapter 2: units out the broader strategic context of the DFG, together with the funding panorama for the DFG in England. It additionally outlines what good native strategic and operational collaboration seems like, and the way native well being, social care and housing authorities can work effectively collectively and with Personal Registered Suppliers and housing associations to supply seamless person-centred assist.
  • Chapter 3: explains how, beneath the powers of the Regulatory Reform Order (2002), native areas can work collectively to develop and publish an area Housing Help Coverage which aligns with wider social care, well being, planning, disabled and older individuals’s methods to finest profit native individuals who want variations. It outlines how native areas can set coverage priorities, what coverage content material may embrace, and the way native authorities can undertake, publish, monitor and revise insurance policies. It additionally units out coverage instruments and broader procedural issues for all native authorities.
  • Chapter 4: outlines key issues for native authorities on how they fee house adaptation providers, in order that the precise built-in groups are in place, enquiries and referrals are well-managed, and efficient triage and desires evaluation processes assist candidates.
  • Chapter 5: seems into the applying course of together with what authorities ought to contemplate when designing and offering utility varieties, confirming the eligibility of the applicant and the required works. This contains the specification of the works, tendering procedures and repair contracts. This chapter additionally units out utility approval necessities.
  • Chapter 6: units out how native authorities can finest work with contractors and oversee the supply of house adaptation works, together with creating an inventory of accredited builders, managing contracts, supervising, offering fee and signing-off the works.
  • Chapter 7: explains how assistive expertise will be included as a part of a house variations bundle to assist individuals reside safely and independently.

Chapter 2: Strategic context of the Disabled Amenities Grant

Wider strategic context

2.1 An appropriate house can assist disabled individuals of all ages to construct and maintain their independence and keep connections of their neighborhood. There are at the moment too many older and disabled individuals residing in properties that make it troublesome for them to do on a regular basis duties like washing and utilizing the lavatory, cooking or getting out and about simply. Many properties are poorly designed for older age or modifications in care and assist wants. In truth, in 2019-20, round 1.9 million households in England had a number of individuals with a well being situation that required variations to their house.

2.2 Authorities’s ambition is to offer extra individuals the selection to reside independently and healthily in their very own properties for longer, with fewer individuals staying in hospital unnecessarily or shifting to residential care prematurely when that isn’t the place they wish to reside. Variations can cut back the quantity of formal care and assist a person could require, in addition to typically making the distinction between with the ability to proceed residing of their present house or not.

2.3 Authorities needs extra individuals to profit from house variations to fulfill their wants, and can proceed to assist native areas to fulfill their statutory obligation.

Disabled Amenities Grant funding

2.4 Since 2015, authorities has offered funding for the DFG by way of the Higher Care Fund (BCF) in recognition of the significance of making certain variations are a part of an built-in strategy to housing, well being and social care regionally, and to assist promote joined up native person-centred approaches to supporting communities.

2.5 Authorities supplies ringfenced DFG funding to Higher Care Fund price range holders (often authorities answerable for the availability of social providers, together with county councils, London boroughs and different unitary councils). Funding have to be spent in accordance with Higher Care Fund plans that are agreed between native authorities and native well being commissioners, and owned by the Well being and Wellbeing Board. It is necessary that these answerable for housing and residential variations regionally are concerned in creating these plans.

2.6 In two tier areas, district councils are answerable for house variations and provision of DFGs to eligible recipients. In these areas, county councils should work with district councils to agree using this funding, and be certain that ample funding is handed to districts to fulfill these duties. A portion of DFG funding will be retained to pay for social care and housing capital parts of joined up well being, social care and housing initiatives at county stage, the place that is agreed with Districts (see para 2.12). Native authorities and native well being and care commissioners may also select so as to add to authorities funding for house variations from their very own budgets.

2.7 Authorities could determine to spend authorities funding for the DFG in 3 methods:

  • Approving DFGs in accordance with the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 (the 1996 Act) (see Appendix B: The legislation)
  • Offering housing help in accordance with a regionally printed Housing Help Coverage beneath RRO powers (see Chapter 3).
  • Utilizing a portion of the DFG funding for different social care capital funding functions (as regionally agreed with district councils in two-tier areas).

2.8 Authorities can apply a mixture of these choices to fulfill native priorities however ought to contemplate that:

  • the native housing authority has a statutory obligation beneath the 1996 Act to supply variations for individuals who qualify for a DFG.
  • the first position of presidency funding is for the availability of house variations to assist eligible individuals safely entry their house and key services inside it. Authorities funding is by way of a capital grant so should not be used for any income functions. Native authorities are answerable for appropriately classifying expenditure of their statutory accounts. Additional steering on capital/income and providers that may be funded are coated in Appendix A.
  • Authorities funding for the Disabled Amenities Grant is meant to fund variations for proprietor occupiers, personal tenants, or tenants of personal registered suppliers (housing associations). Eligible council tenants can apply for a DFG in the identical manner as another applicant. Nonetheless native housing authorities with a Housing Income Account (HRA) ought to self-fund house variations for council tenants by way of this account. A provision was made for expenditure within the HRA as a ‘Disabled Amenities Allowance’ within the 2012-13 self-financing settlement, alongside info on tips on how to calculate it in subsequent years. The identical applies to purposes from tenants residing in dwellings managed by an Arms-Size Administration Organisation (ALMO) however owned by the native authority.

2.9 Chief Executives of Native Housing Authorities should ship DLUHC an annual declaration of grant utilization which states they’ve spent the funding in accordance with the grant situations. (Authorities are additionally requested to supply DFG supply information to DLUHC by way of their annual DELTA questionnaire return.)

2.10 Native housing authorities can present monetary help from their very own budgets to those that don’t qualify for house variations funding beneath the statutory obligation or to high up authorities funding (see native flexibilities in Chapter 3).

2.11 The place a portion of the DFG funding is used for different social care capital initiatives this have to be agreed as a part of, and spent in accordance with, the accredited native BCF spending plan that was developed in line with the BCF Coverage Framework and Planning Necessities.

2.12 Native authorities are inspired to think about the extent of demand for variations regionally, and use this freedom solely to fund wider initiatives that are more likely to cut back general demand for DFGs, in order that extra individuals can obtain the variations that they want. Good examples of wider social care capital initiatives embrace enhancing rest room/showering services in short-term lodging to assist assist disabled individuals together with these sleeping tough, or contributing to the price of constructing accessible housing for disabled individuals in circumstances the place this might be less expensive than adapting a present property. Additional case research examples of modern use of DFG funding can be found on the Higher Care Trade and Nationwide Physique for Dwelling Enchancment Companies internet sites.

Native strategic collaboration

2.13 Whereas the administration of DFGs is the accountability of the native housing authority, it is crucial that different our bodies and particularly social providers authorities and well being commissioners, play a full and lively half in strategic planning of house variations and associated providers.

2.14 Native housing authorities in England have strategic duties to think about housing situations of their space together with the necessity for brand new housing beneath part 8 of the Housing Act 1985. As they assess housing wants and develop housing methods, part 3 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Individuals Act 1970 means they need to contemplate the particular wants of chronically sick and disabled individuals.

2.15 Creating a house atmosphere that helps individuals to reside safely and independently could make a big contribution to well being and wellbeing. It’s subsequently important that in planning for the housing wants of disabled individuals, native housing authorities work intently with native well being and care commissioners, and guarantee strategic be a part of up, together with in use of the DFG, to align housing, well being and social care goals.

2.16 This ought to be achieved by way of the method of creating BCF plans which might be signed off by Well being and Wellbeing Boards. For extra info on the BCF course of, please seek advice from the BCF Coverage Framework and the DFG part of the BCF Planning Necessities.

2.17 Examples of excellent observe joint working between native well being, care and housing authorities embrace:

  • Inclusion of native housing leads (council or district stage) on well being and care focussed integration boards (together with well being and wellbeing boards) to assist a joined-up and strategic concentrate on prevention and wider determinants of well being.
  • Well being, grownup social care and housing authorities collectively commissioning schemes that assist individuals as they navigate between the well being and care system. This might embrace house adaptation schemes that assist individuals discharged from hospital and a house first strategy.
  • Well being Commissioners working with housing authorities to focus on DFG assist to make sure sources attain probably the most weak residents in a neighborhood by way of sharing well being information and evaluation.
  • Pooling income funding to supply a wraparound assist to recipients of house variations (for instance, commissioning handyperson providers) to supply joined-up particular person centred care.

2.18 Please seek advice from the Higher Care Trade and Nationwide Physique for Dwelling Enchancment Companies web sites for extra finest observe case research.

2.19 Authorities needs to make joint working simpler between the well being service, social care, and native authorities. Topic to passage of the Well being and Care Invoice, Built-in Care Boards (ICBs) will tackle the commissioning capabilities of the Scientific Commissioning Group (CCG) in addition to a few of NHS England’s commissioning capabilities. Built-in Care Partnerships will carry collectively well being, social care, public well being (and probably wider representatives the place acceptable). This may put extra energy and autonomy within the arms of native programs, to plan and ship seamless well being and social care providers. See additional particulars.

2.20 The following sections define the authorized duties of various our bodies and the way they will finest work collectively to make sure a seamless DFG service for native individuals.

Collaboration in DFG service provision

Position of native housing authorities

2.21 Native housing authorities have a statutory obligation beneath the 1996 Act to supply variations for eligible disabled individuals, in addition to wider powers to supply discretionary housing help by way of the Regulatory Reform Order (see Chapter 3). The administration of DFGs is the accountability of the native housing authority, by way of all phases from preliminary enquiry (or referral) to post-completion.

2.22 District councils in two tier areas have an obligation to seek the advice of their social providers authority (county council) on the house adaptation wants of every disabled particular person searching for a DFG. Whereas it’s at all times the district council who should determine an utility, if district and county councils collaborate successfully it will be uncommon for a district to determine to not approve an adaptation beneficial by the county.

2.23 A neighborhood housing authority may additionally present a spread of different housing help providers, for instance, info and recommendation round housing choices, or handyperson’s providers, which might present minor repairs, and security, safety and effectivity checks and fittings, in addition to signpost related individuals to further assist, reminiscent of variations.

Position of social care authorities

2.24 Social care authorities have wide-ranging powers and duties to fulfill the wants of disabled individuals residing of their space who require care and assist. The duties of authorities who present social providers are set out:

  • for adults within the Care Act 2014; and
  • for youngsters in Half 3 of the Youngsters Act 1989, in addition to part 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Individual’s Act 1970.

Powers and duties beneath the Care Act relate to provision of assistive expertise within the house, aids, gear and variations. These embrace an obligation to supply minor variations as much as the worth of £1,000 in addition to different gear to any worth.

2.25 The place an utility for DFG has been made, social service authorities ought to work intently with the housing authority to evaluate the wants of the person. The social care authority ought to contemplate the broader social care wants of the applicant, together with and past any adaptation required.

2.26 The place the social care authority determines {that a} want has been established it’s their obligation to help, even the place the housing authority is unable to approve or to totally fund an utility. So for instance, the place an applicant for DFG has problem in assembly their assessed contribution from the DFG means check or the work will value greater than the higher restrict, the social care authority can step in to supply monetary help. Or if a disabled particular person is assessed as needing an adaptation which is exterior the scope of the statutory DFG obligation, then the social care authority can present it.

2.27 Social care authorities may additionally think about using their powers beneath the Care Act 2014 to cost for his or her providers the place acceptable.

Working collectively

2.28 To make sure supply of seamless, person-centred assist together with for eligible individuals requiring variations, it’s important that housing, well being and social providers authorities work effectively collectively given the overlap of their duties and duties. This contains in circumstances the place well timed variations supply can assist facilitate individuals being safely discharged from hospital.

2.29 It’s good observe that respective authorities ought to maintain common conferences between senior officers and publish on every authority’s web site a transparent, unambiguous formal settlement on key points and joint working to profit the particular person requiring variations, together with:

  • streamlining processes, together with programs for joint assessments, cross-referrals and signposting between housing, well being and social care providers;
  • acceptable timescales for variations supply; and
  • funding preparations.

2.30 The formal settlement ought to embrace reference to:

  • native settlement surrounding the mixing of providers. Integration of providers regionally can carry collectively insurance policies and choices to supply person-centred assist reminiscent of DFG, Built-in Neighborhood Gear Service (ICES), and social care. Delivering particular person centred assist on this method signifies that people are sometimes capable of get the most effective assist for his or her state of affairs. Alongside this, income prices will be shared between well being, social care and housing.
  • using budgets for minor variations and gear and the way that hyperlinks with DFG funding. For example, gear which will be put in and eliminated simply with little or no structural modification of the dwelling is the accountability of the social providers authority. For bigger objects reminiscent of stairlifts and through-floor lifts which can require structural works to the property, assist is generally offered by way of the DFG.

2.31 To make sure variations are progressed as rapidly as doable respective authorities ought to agree a joint strategy to the funding of several types of variations, until there are distinctive circumstances. In some circumstances each gear and variations are required. For instance, the place authorities comply with fund hoists by way of the DFG it will not be acceptable to order a sling individually until the supply and set up of each will be suitably organized. The disabled particular person and their carers or household ought to expertise a joined-up service.

2.32 Authorities may additionally select to pool a few of their funding to assist person-centred providers. For instance, given the overlap in duties to supply minor variations as much as £1,000 housing and social providers authorities might select to pool funding for adaptions as much as £1,000 to keep away from arguments over funding delaying the variations that native disabled individuals want.

2.33 Neighbouring housing authorities may additionally comply with pool funding throughout a wider space to supply larger flexibility in utilizing DFG funding to fulfill native demand, the place some authorities have underspends whereas others have ready lists. Doing this will additionally easy the danger that a number of exceptionally massive purposes take up a big proportion of the general price range for a person space. The operation of pooled funds ought to kind a part of Higher Care Fund plans and be overseen by common conferences between senior officers.

Collaborative working between housing and social providers

An rising variety of authorities are recognising the advantages of building particular person centred providers that seem seamless from the angle of the disabled particular person and their household. For instance, some authorities have seconded housing and social providers workers into built-in groups that present minor variations and gear as a part of a bundle of assist together with entry to DFGs.

By becoming a member of up supply it turns into simpler to trace outcomes and to watch the impact that house variations have on the continuing want for domiciliary care and stopping avoidable strikes into residential or nursing care.

Some authorities are additionally beginning to use predictive analytics to establish circumstances the place preventative interventions can assist carers, forestall falls and cut back loneliness involving the availability of variations and assistive expertise. With the overall annual value of fragility fractures to the UK at an estimated £4.4 billion which incorporates £1.1 billion for social care; joint initiatives that may pre-empt a fall are doubtless to supply good worth for cash.

Working effectively with Personal Registered Suppliers and housing associations

2.34 DFG is obtainable to tenants of Personal Registered Suppliers and housing associations. Nonetheless, there are some completely different necessities in comparison with purposes from house owners which signifies that an authority might function completely different processes as long as tenants obtain a comparable stage of assist and expertise comparable timescales for the completion of works. This provides an extra dynamic to the method.

2.35 Housing affiliation tenants now account for round 22% of all grants accredited. Subsequently, good partnership working between native authorities and housing associations is important to creating the variation course of run easily.

2.36 It’s important that native authorities are clear and have agreed with housing associations and Personal Registered Suppliers working of their space the expectations round any contribution to funding, timeframes for approvals and for works to be undertaken.

2.37 As with supply between the housing and social providers authorities it is important that every one work collectively operationally to make sure the most effective final result for the tenant.

2.38 It’s endorsed that native authorities maintain common conferences with Personal Registered Suppliers and housing associations in order that the place points come up there may be an efficient communication pathway which permits clear and open engagement between all events and for tenants to be stored knowledgeable of selections and progress on any agreed work.

2.39 There could also be situations the place further work is required to a tenant’s property along with the DFG utility (reminiscent of different restore work). Once more to minimise disruption to the tenant the native authority and Personal Registered Supplier or housing affiliation ought to interact to agree the most effective instances to schedule works.

Working with housing affiliation landlords

Foundations Unbiased Residing Belief, Habinteg and Anchor Hanover have printed new steering that makes suggestions for enhancing the state of affairs in social housing, together with:

  • Selling using landlord purposes (as a substitute of tenant purposes) for almost all of circumstances – eradicating the requirement for means testing and making certain the owner is giving permission.
  • Landlords to handle the supply of variations in their very own inventory, with funding over and above DFG to enhance the long run accessibility of their inventory – lowering the variety of variations that get ripped out upon change of tenancy.
  • Larger use of tailored housing registers to make the most effective use of already tailored inventory by enabling tenants to be matched successfully.

Chapter 3: Growing an area Housing Help Coverage

The Regulatory Reform Order

3.1 The Regulatory Reform (Housing Help) (England and Wales) Order 2002 (RRO) supplies normal powers for native housing authorities to supply help for housing renewal, together with house variations. The powers, detailed in Article 3, can solely be utilized in accordance with a printed Housing Help Coverage. This part of the steering can assist authorities to develop or evaluation their coverage.

3.2 The wide-ranging powers allow authorities to offer help to individuals straight, or to supply help by way of a 3rd social gathering reminiscent of a Dwelling Enchancment Company, offering the help will enhance residing situations of their space. This may embrace supporting individuals to:

  • buy a brand new house (whether or not inside or exterior their space) the place the authority both purchases their present house, or is glad that buying a brand new house would offer an identical profit to adapting their present house;
  • adapt or enhance their house (together with by alteration, conversion, enlargement, or set up of apparatus or insulation);
  • restore their house;
  • demolish their house and construct a alternative.

3.3 This may embrace funding variations to be added to the design of a brand new construct house the place the potential proprietor has utilized for help.

3.4 Help may also be given to pay for any related charges and expenses, together with in circumstances the place the work doesn’t ultimately proceed, so long as the authority is glad these charges fall throughout the phrases of their native Housing Help Coverage.

3.5 By publishing a Housing Help Coverage beneath the RRO, housing authorities can use authorities funding for the DFG extra flexibly. This funding is primarily for the availability of house variations to assist individuals to reside independently, so it is crucial for any native Housing Help Coverage to obviously set out what further variations help is to be offered. Nonetheless, the vast powers allow native authorities to supply different varieties help reminiscent of repairs, or help to maneuver, if an applicant’s house is unsuitable for adaptation.

3.6 Insurance policies may also embrace measures to hurry up DFG supply. For instance, an area authority might develop a simplified system to ship small-scale variations extra rapidly, for instance, to cope with entry points, to allow fast discharge of individuals from hospital, or to stop admission to hospital or residential care.

3.7 Whereas the RRO provides discretion to native authorities, you will need to be aware that authorities nonetheless have a statutory obligation to approve DFG purposes which meet the statutory necessities.

Enhancing supply by way of an area Housing Help Coverage

Housing Help Insurance policies can be utilized to streamline the applying course of for house variations, notably for the most typical kinds of work reminiscent of these to switch a rest room, create a ramped entry or set up a raise. This will likely embrace a short utility kind, limiting the conditions when the means check applies and ranging the necessities round contractors.

Offering a Dwelling Enchancment Company to assist and assist with making a sound utility can also be doubtless to enhance take up of the grant and be certain that variations are match for goal. Authorities could contemplate making it a situation that any discretionary grants or loans are managed by an accredited company service.

For counties, it’s good observe for district councils to collaborate in aligning their insurance policies to supply a constant strategy. There could also be particular points that apply to particular person districts however the principle provisions ought to apply throughout the county, together with the position of the county council and conditions the place social care funding will apply.

Aligning with social care, well being and older individuals methods

3.8 Housing, social providers departments and the Nationwide Well being Service (NHS) are delivering more and more built-in providers for weak households that recognise the advantages of enabling individuals to remain in their very own properties wherever doable. Poor housing could be a barrier for older and disabled individuals, contributing to immobility, social exclusion, sick well being and despair. Housing help insurance policies can contribute by enabling individuals to reside with larger independence in safe, protected, well-maintained, heat and appropriate housing.

3.9 By native Higher Care Fund plans, well being, and social care authorities are required to agree a joined-up strategy to well being, social care and housing assist to enhance outcomes for residents. Housing authorities also needs to be concerned within the dialogue on using DFG funding. A Housing Help Coverage that considers the extra strategic, versatile use of DFG funding alongside different sources of funding to supply house variations together with minor variations can assist this goal. In creating a Housing Help Coverage, housing authorities ought to work with well being and social care companions and look to align targets with present native social care, well being and older individuals associated methods.

Working with native companions

3.10 Partnership working lies on the coronary heart of any profitable Housing Help Coverage. Strategic partnerships allow a typical imaginative and prescient backed by dedication of sources from the principal supply companies.

3.11 When contemplating how finest to ship the important thing outcomes, authorities could want to contemplate the next kinds of partnerships:

  • Native authority partnerships: In creating new housing help insurance policies, native authorities could profit from working collectively. For instance, a gaggle of native authorities might share the prices of creating new coverage instruments.
  • Partnerships to handle housing want: Planning to fulfill housing wants inside an authority’s space might contain shut liaison with housing associations, personal landlords, builders, suppliers of assist and recommendation providers, social providers, the NHS and planning colleagues.
  • Well being alliances: there’s a clear linkage between poor housing and sick well being, particularly with an ageing inhabitants and extra individuals selecting to reside independently throughout the neighborhood. This generates a necessity for partnership working between housing authorities, well being authorities, well being commissioners, native GPs and social providers.
  • Dwelling enchancment companies (HIAs) can play a serious half in serving to an authority obtain its client-focused targets.
  • Working with the voluntary sector: inside any technique LAs ought to take into consideration the availability for the provision of a spread of complementary formal and casual recommendation and advocacy providers.
  • Gas poverty and power effectivity partnerships: gasoline poverty and power inefficient properties can solely be tackled successfully by way of partnerships on the native stage with housing authorities working intently with HIAs, NEA (Nationwide Vitality Motion), the Vitality Saving Belief and power suppliers.

Figuring out native points, wants and expectations

Proof-based insurance policies

3.12 Figuring out native points, wants and expectations of native residents is step one in establishing a sturdy Housing Help Coverage. This is dependent upon correct and up-to-date info. The next listing units out the minimal requirement:

  • particulars of the prevailing social and financial situations, together with gasoline poverty;
  • profiles of the age, well being, well being inequalities and disabilities of the native inhabitants;
  • information indicating demographic modifications and developments;
  • data and understanding of the native housing market;
  • inventory situation information, together with power effectivity;
  • complaints information, and buyer satisfaction surveys amongst present house adaptation purchasers; and
  • problems with concern raised by accomplice organisations and different stakeholders.

Setting coverage priorities

3.13 Authorities will wish to contemplate coverage choices, set up priorities for motion, and subsequently evaluation the coverage frequently. The priorities chosen can be influenced by the strategic context for housing help and by the problems, wants and expectations recognized. The native challenges dealing with particular person native authorities will range broadly, and to make sure that sources are effectively used a cautious appraisal of priorities is important, involving residents and different companions earlier than a closing coverage is adopted. The next present some instance priorities:

Consumer-based

3.14 Relying on native want, provision of help could goal further assist for particular teams:

  • Older individuals; by searching for to help with upkeep, repairs, enhancements or the availability of primary facilities. Older persons are extra more likely to reside in substandard and poorly heated properties and are additionally weak when it comes to house accidents or crime.
  • Particular situations; by offering a bundle of further help exterior the obligatory disabled services grant system, e.g. for these needing palliative care.
  • Housing wants of black and minority ethnic communities or others with protected traits; according to public sector equality duties, authorities ought to contemplate whether or not specific teams are dealing with drawback in accessing house variations and recognise the cultural wants of specific teams.

Motor neurone illness

Housing help polices can be utilized to answer quickly progressing and extremely debilitating situations reminiscent of Motor Neurone Illness (MND). Usually individuals with MND wish to proceed to work throughout the early phases of the illness, which might make them ineligible for a DFG by way of means testing. However by the point they will not work an un-adapted house could make everyday actions very troublesome to handle.

Some native authorities embrace provisions inside their coverage, reminiscent of:

  • a fast-track course of with no means testing for works as much as £5,000.
  • ignoring the earnings of the particular person with MND within the means check the place bigger scale works are assessed as being vital and acceptable.

These provisions apply to a comparatively small variety of individuals however can have a big affect upon their lives at a time of main upheaval.

Sector-based: Help to landlords

3.15 Homelessness, and housing want ought to be an necessary consideration for an area authority. The personal rented sector typically performs a key position in offering lodging together with for homeless households, and supported lodgings for younger care leavers. Help could subsequently assist landlords or different companions to extend the provision of tailored lodging.

3.16 Authorities could wish to contemplate a coverage to retain nomination rights to a rented property for a specified time frame the place a landlord applies for help. This might mirror the choice to safe nomination rights the place a landlord applies for a compulsory DFG.

Working with personal landlords

Analysis undertaken by the Nationwide Residential Landlords Affiliation (NRLA) reveals that solely 8% of landlords let properties to individuals with accessibility wants and the largest barrier to putting in variations is the associated fee. Nonetheless, 79% of landlords didn’t know that funding is obtainable by way of the DFG.

The NRLA is working with a variety of native authorities to supply extra info to personal landlords with the goal of encouraging extra DFG purposes and supporting landlords to make their portfolios extra accessible for disabled tenants. It’s good observe to incorporate consciousness elevating part of personal landlord boards and different engagement frequently undertaken by native housing authorities.

Provision will be made inside a Housing Help Coverage to streamline the grant utility course of the place the owner makes the applying and takes the lead in managing the works. As with the obligatory DFG, the means check wouldn’t apply however nomination rights may very well be utilized to make sure that the property may very well be accessible for let to a different disabled particular person sooner or later.

Theme-based

3.17 A coverage could goal help in opposition to themes. Examples might embrace:

  • hospital discharge schemes; and
  • house accident prevention or well being and security initiatives.

Coverage content material

3.18 The coverage ought to set out the character and extent of housing help that can be accessible, based mostly on the proof of wants recognized. It ought to set out how the strategic goals and targets of an authority can be met by acceptable and efficient actions.

3.19 Authorities should additionally keep away from fettering their discretion to supply help. Which means they need to embrace a mechanism in place to think about purposes for help which fall exterior their coverage. They could legitimately flip down an utility for help that falls exterior their coverage, however solely after particular person consideration on a sound and knowledgeable foundation. Such purposes ought to be accredited the place acceptable.

3.20 It could be finest observe for the complete coverage doc detailing the help to be made accessible beneath the RRO to incorporate the next:

  • how the coverage will contribute in the direction of the fulfilment of the native authority’s strategic goals, targets and priorities;
  • an announcement of the important thing priorities which the coverage will tackle and the explanations for choosing them;
  • the quantity of capital sources that can be dedicated to implementing the coverage, together with sources offered by accomplice organisations;
  • an outline of the kinds of help accessible, what the help can be used for, and what key outcomes can be achieved by every type of help;
  • the circumstances during which individuals can be eligible for help;
  • the quantities of help that can be accessible to eligible individuals, and the way these quantities can be decided;
  • the categories and quantities of preliminary or ancillary charges and expenses related to the availability of help that can be payable and in what circumstances;
  • the method for use to use for help, together with any preliminary enquiry system;
  • how individuals can acquire entry to the method of making use of for help;
  • particulars of situations that may apply to the availability of help, how situations can be enforced and in what circumstances they might be waived;
  • recommendation that’s accessible, together with monetary recommendation, to help individuals wishing to investigate about, and apply for, help;
  • the preparations for complaints in regards to the coverage and its implementation;
  • the preparations for purposes for help to be thought-about the place these fall exterior coverage;
  • key service requirements that may apply to the availability of help e.g. how lengthy it’ll take to approve an utility for help as soon as submitted, how lengthy it’ll take for help to be accomplished as soon as accredited;
  • native efficiency indicators and targets that can be used to measure the progress made by coverage implementation in the direction of assembly the authority’s strategic goals, targets and priorities and the fulfilment of company methods; and
  • a coverage implementation plan that may, amongst different issues: state the coverage graduation date; the deliberate date when a successor coverage doc can be issued; the frequency with which coverage implementation (together with efficiency in opposition to indicators and targets) can be reported and publicised; and the circumstances which may necessitate an earlier evaluation of the coverage doc.

3.21 The types of help ought to adhere to the powers set out in article 3 of the order (see para 3.1). The next are examples from present insurance policies throughout England:

  • Relocation help: monetary and sensible assist to maneuver the place that’s less expensive or delivers higher outcomes in comparison with adapting the prevailing house.
  • Hospital discharge grant: funding for pressing variations, repairs or modifications that may permit somebody to be discharged from hospital sooner.
  • Waiving the means check: for instance, not requiring means testing for stairlifts to stop falls or the place the price of the variations is under a certain quantity.
  • Dwelling security grant: funding to restore hazards within the house that may cut back dangers resulting in fewer falls and different accidents across the house.
  • Pooled funding: For instance to fund ramps the place in any other case there could be delay whereas deciding whether it is to be funded by DFG or social providers.
  • Quick-track variations: the place an pressing want has been recognized, forms is minimised to hurry up evaluation and supply
  • Palliative care: Help with fast-track works for terminally sick individuals being discharged from hospital or hospice.
  • Dementia grants: small grants to fund modifications that will permit somebody with a analysis of dementia to stay residing safely of their house for longer.
  • Sensible Dwelling Kits: reminiscent of a sensible thermostat to regulate heating and sizzling water, video doorbell, good switches, good lightbulbs and an Alexa or Google Dwelling for voice or different assistive expertise grants (see The Disabled Amenities Grant and assistive expertise)
  • Funding greater than the Most Quantity: funding in the direction of adaptation schemes the place the associated fee exceeds the utmost quantity for a DFG.

Charges and expenses

3.22 Inside their insurance policies, native authorities ought to state what related preliminary or ancillary charges and expenses can be paid. This may embrace charges charged by company providers, personal architects and surveyors, and will embrace both in-house or outsourced mortgage administration prices.

3.23 Clearly solely cheap and vital charges and expenses ought to be eligible for help. Authorities ought to actively evaluate these prices with different native authorities and repair suppliers, and perform market testing the place acceptable. Authorities ought to search to maintain the price of eligible charges and expenses to a minimal however with out compromising the standard of service offered to the client.

Dementia grants

Many native authorities already embrace dementia grants inside their housing help insurance policies. They’re sometimes preventative in nature and permit for variations to be supplied with a analysis of dementia and earlier than the situation escalates to the purpose the place a DFG would in any other case grow to be vital.

The extent and price of the works are often comparatively small (typically lower than £1,000) and contain a streamlined utility course of. The commonest kinds of modification are:

  • Labels and indicators on doorways and cabinets
  • Process focussed lighting in loos and kitchens
  • Gadgets of assistive expertise, e.g. to supply reminders and to watch exercise
  • Safer flooring
  • Ornament to enhance distinction between partitions and flooring
  • Putting in colored fixtures to create a distinction for objects like rest room seats and grabrails

These easy modifications can assist to maintain somebody residing safely at house for longer, delaying the necessity for extra pricey care providers or a transfer into residential care.

Native land expenses for DFGs

3.24 As a part of their Housing Help Coverage authorities ought to set out when it’ll use discretion to position native land expenses for an owner-occupier’s utility and the circumstances when it will not demand compensation if the recipient of the grant disposes of the property (see Appendix B, B123 to B125).

3.25 Authorities ought to notably contemplate whether or not it will be proper to demand compensation in circumstances the place:

  • compensation of the grant would trigger monetary hardship;
  • they’ve to maneuver for his or her job;
  • the transfer is expounded to their bodily or psychological well being or well-being; or
  • they should transfer to supply or obtain care from others.

3.26 Authorities are inspired to not place native land expenses the place the applying is being made for a kid in a long-term foster placement.

Adopting and publishing the coverage

3.27 Earlier than offering different types of help, an area authority ought to contemplate the anticipated lifetime of the coverage and plan capital useful resource allocations accordingly. The authority should then:

  • undertake the Housing Help Coverage based on its regular procedures for such issues;
  • give public discover of the adoption of the coverage; and
  • be certain that the complete coverage is obtainable on their web site, ideally with a abstract in plain English (and different languages as vital).

Monitoring and revising the coverage

3.28 Common monitoring of the coverage’s goals and targets in opposition to efficiency targets, and buyer suggestions is important to verify whether or not coverage implementation is passable. Prospects’ views and experiences of the providers offered, and their wants and expectations for future providers, may also be helpful in contemplating whether or not revisions are wanted.

Coping with complaints and redress procedures

3.29 How purchasers provoke complaints and the appeals process when help is turned down ought to be written down and freely accessible.

Adjustments to coverage

3.30 The place any vital modifications are made to the printed coverage, these should even be formally adopted and printed. Vital modifications embrace these to eligibility and scope in addition to any new types of help launched. Minor modifications which don’t have an effect on the broad thrust of coverage course, will be accommodated and not using a formal re-adoption course of.

Coverage instruments

3.31 The provisions of the RRO give native authorities vast discretion to supply help for housing renewal. Authorities ought to determine probably the most acceptable types of help to finest tackle the coverage priorities they’ve recognized. This part critiques the principle coverage instruments which ought to be thought-about. Help could also be unconditional or topic to situations such because the requirement to repay a grant if the property is offered inside 5 years.

3.32 The RRO incorporates necessary protections regarding the giving of help, whether or not it’s given as a grant, mortgage or one other type of assist. It requires that:

  • authorities set out in writing the phrases and situations beneath which help is being given; and
  • earlier than giving any help the authority have to be glad that the particular person has obtained acceptable recommendation or details about the extent and nature of any obligation (monetary or in any other case) that they are going to be taking up; and
  • earlier than making a mortgage, or requiring compensation of a mortgage or grant, the authority should have regard to the particular person’s means to afford to make a contribution or compensation.

Grant help

3.33 Native authorities could make grant funding accessible for house variations and related works. This could be for minor objects of labor, works exterior the scope of the obligatory DFG, or to scale back the forms concerned.

3.34 The place an area authority provides grant help it might want to contemplate whether or not to use a way check. The precise type of means check can be for the authority to determine. Means checks are inherently advanced and aren’t at all times acceptable. An easier ‘passporting’ technique linked to entitlement for different state advantages could also be another. As well as, for owner-occupiers the quantity of unmortgaged fairness within the property could be an necessary consideration in whether or not to make help accessible.

Mortgage help

3.35 The RRO additionally permits native authorities to supply monetary help within the type of a mortgage. For instance, an authority could want to supply loans to assist these required to make a monetary contribution beneath the means check for obligatory DFG.

Sorts of mortgage help

3.36 There’s a variety of choices accessible for native authorities to think about and it’s important that they need to search correct, complete authorized and monetary recommendation earlier than providing mortgage help. The principal classes are:

  • Curiosity bearing compensation loans: typical loans both secured or unsecured with curiosity charged both on the present market fee or at a preferential fee and repayable in common instalments over a time frame. Such loans are more likely to be finest suited to these with an everyday revenue which might allow them to make the required repayments.
  • Curiosity-only loans: typical loans, often secured, the place the borrower solely pays the curiosity cost on the quantity borrowed in common instalments. Repayments could range as rates of interest go up or down. The capital is repaid often on the sale of the property. Once more, this form of mortgage is more likely to be finest suited to these capable of meet common curiosity repayments, and, the place the mortgage is secured in opposition to the property the place there may be ample remaining fairness in it.
  • Zero-interest loans: a standard mortgage registered as a cost in opposition to the worth of the property on which no curiosity is levied. The capital is repaid often on the sale of the property. One of these mortgage could also be finest suited to these unable to make common mortgage repayments, however who’ve substantial remaining fairness of their house.

3.37 In deciding which is the precise monetary product for any circumstance, native authorities might want to make a cautious evaluation of the monetary place of the applicant. Within the case of fairness launch merchandise they may also have to assess the present and doable future worth of the property and different precise and potential expenses on it. The place properties are already mortgaged the lender will insist on taking the primary cost.

Mortgage administration

3.38 Native authorities should concentrate on all elements of client credit score regulation and steering. The principal regulators for monetary providers are the Monetary Conduct Authority.

3.39 Any monetary service suppliers together with native authorities and housing associations could give recommendation about their very own monetary merchandise. Nonetheless, native authorities and housing associations should not supply monetary recommendation on different monetary merchandise. They will solely supply info on the supply of different merchandise. The place loans are being supplied, particularly if the native authority is working collectively with one other company to advertise any mortgage or fairness launch scheme, the particular person ought to be strongly suggested to seek the advice of an impartial monetary advisor. The place acceptable, they need to advise these contemplating fairness launch merchandise to seek the advice of their household.

3.40 Native authorities and housing associations (however not their wholly owned subsidiaries) are exempt from the Monetary Conduct Authority’s authorisation for mortgage lending and administration, arranging and advising. Nonetheless, they need to nonetheless adhere to the underlying key rules of mortgage regulation which can be taken into consideration in any case referred to the Native Authorities and Social Care Ombudsman. These are that:

  • authorities should be certain that their procedures are open and readily accessible to members and purchasers; and that
  • loans are administered in a fashion which is each cheap and truthful.

3.41 The RRO can also be clear that native authorities should fulfill themselves that recipients have obtained acceptable recommendation or info on any obligations arising from the help. This is applicable whether or not the native authority is offering the help straight or by way of third events.

Broader procedural issues

3.42 Native authorities are free to determine their very own insurance policies and procedures by way of the overall energy to supply help. Nonetheless, authorities ought to contemplate:

  • duties beneath the Local Government Act 1999 to supply finest worth by way of the operation of customer-focused, cost-effective, and environment friendly procedures;
  • obligations enshrined in administrative legislation such because the obligation to behave fairly and pretty;
  • making certain that insurance policies and procedures are strong sufficient to safeguard and safe worth for cash from public funds and to minimise the danger of fraud; and
  • creating procedures which might be clear, truthful, and environment friendly. This may assist mitigate in opposition to authorized challenges or allegations of maladministration.

3.43 Authorities are additionally topic to necessities of the Equality Act 2010 as a result of they’re discharging a public operate and offering a service to the general public. Which means they’re required to make cheap changes for service customers who meet the Act’s definition of getting a incapacity (see Appendix B, B5), together with those that are making use of for a grant. This implies, for instance, that DFG providers have to be accessible to these with a visible or mobility incapacity.

3.44 The cheap adjustment obligation is anticipatory, which means that native housing authorities shouldn’t anticipate an affordable adjustment request, however ought to plan on the premise that, in a DFG utility context, a considerable proportion of their purchasers can be disabled and subsequently preparations ought to be put in place to anticipate this.

3.45 Authorities should additionally not discriminate in opposition to or harass an individual making use of for a grant on grounds of or for causes associated to their incapacity or another protected attribute beneath the 2010 Act. Failure by an authority to make an affordable adjustment to help disabled service customers make their utility is illegal beneath the 2010 Act, in addition to different types of illegal discrimination and harassment, and may finally lead to civil proceedings at County Courtroom.

3.46 Native authorities are topic to the Public Sector Equality Obligation (PSED), and when finishing up their capabilities should give due regard to the necessity to get rid of discrimination, harassment, victimisation and another conduct prohibited by or beneath the Equality Act, advance equality of alternative between individuals who share a related protected attribute and others and foster good relations between individuals who share a related protected attribute and others. It’s for native authorities to determine what’s required to fulfil their obligation and the federal government doesn’t have a job in overseeing this.

3.47 A neighborhood authority that’s failing to adjust to the PSED could also be challenged by way of Judicial Overview. See guidance on the PSED for public authorities in England, Scotland and Wales.

3.48 Beneath section 343AA of the Armed Forces Act 2006 (inserted by section 8 of the Armed Forces Act 2021), native authorities are required to have due regard to the three rules of the Armed Forces Covenant when exercising sure housing capabilities, together with allocating disabled services grants. Beneath this provision, particular issues for veterans could also be justified in some circumstances. Extra info can be offered within the Armed Forces Covenant Obligation statutory steering to be printed in 2022. 

Chapter 4: Managing a house variations service

4.1 As soon as the native authority has set out their Housing Help Coverage, and decided the important thing outcomes they want to see from a house variations service, according to the native Higher Care Fund Plan, the subsequent step is to know the precise option to fee the service.

4.2 Completely different authorities will take a distinct strategy. For instance, Housing Income Account funded variations for council properties could also be managed by DFG housing officers or straight by council housing groups. Nonetheless, it’s thought-about good observe to supply a Dwelling Enchancment Company service to assist a disabled particular person and their household by way of the usually sophisticated means of finishing up main constructing works. Additionally it is good observe to seek the advice of disabled individuals in service design and supply. This chapter makes use of the time period “consumer” to collectively seek advice from the older or disabled particular person, the applicant and their household and carers.

4.3 Whichever route is chosen, it’s good observe to undertake critiques of the service arrange at common intervals to think about whether or not the service remains to be delivering the most effective outcomes doable and whether or not service enhancements will be made.

4.4 The goal of managing a house variations service ought to at all times be a seamless service for the consumer whose wants ought to be the first focus. As a matter of excellent observe, the consumer ought to be concerned in resolution making all through the method and the end result of all discussions and agreements have to be effectively documented.

Built-in groups

4.5 Native authorities ought to think about using a single, built-in workforce to deal with the entire adaptation journey from first contact to completion of the works. A joint workforce, together with each housing and social care professionals, overcomes the frustrations confronted by purchasers when their case is handed between completely different organisations. There’s rising proof that this extra person-centred manner of working reduces timescales and drop-out charges.

Managing preliminary enquiries and referrals

4.6 To make sure the standard and consistency of response, native authorities ought to contemplate establishing a one-stop store to channel nearly all of preliminary enquiries or referrals to a most well-liked level of entry, for instance, a social providers contact centre, or an company service.

4.7 The place authorities are working in partnership, the branding ought to clearly characteristic the titles and company logos of all of the accomplice organisations to reveal their possession of the frequent course of.

4.8 Frequent coaching on an ongoing foundation ought to be offered for these coping with enquiries and referrals to make sure a constant and acceptable service is offered. This may embrace incapacity equality coaching for all public-facing workers.

The correct evaluation workforce

4.9 Authorities also needs to guarantee they’ve the precise workforce of pros to evaluate and advocate variations. For instance, trusted assessors (in easy circumstances), paediatric occupational therapists, academic setting assessments and different occupational therapists and technical officers, notably the place main variations are required.

4.10 Trusted assessors are workers who’re skilled to evaluate individuals and their house atmosphere for house variations in easy circumstances. Additionally they know when to refer on to an occupational therapist for additional evaluation. It’s good observe for trusted assessors to be supervised by an occupational therapist.

4.11 Essentially the most profitable evaluation programs contain occupational therapists and trusted assessors working collectively inside multidisciplinary groups.

4.12 Some candidates can be assessed by a non-public occupational therapist. A district council should nonetheless seek the advice of the social providers authority in these circumstances.

4.13 Whichever workforce makes the preliminary evaluation, the ultimate resolution on awarding grant stays with the native housing authority. Resolution making panel conferences that don’t embrace the housing authority are strongly discouraged.

Foundations

Foundations are the federal government appointed Nationwide Physique for Dwelling Enchancment Companies in England. They provide a spread of providers to enhance the native supply of Disabled Amenities Grants. This contains:

  • An accessible web site with an in depth library and how-to guides
  • A community of Regional Advisors offering info, assist, and steering
  • Accreditation and high quality requirements for Dwelling Enchancment Companies
  • Bespoke coaching programs, together with common free on-line lessons on understanding DFG
  • Common free occasions together with month-to-month webinars and reside regional DFG Champions Roadshows to share finest observe
  • Housing the Nationwide Wholesome Housing Awards
  • Consultancy assist with service enchancment critiques, together with course of mapping and drafting of Housing Help Insurance policies

Help for native authorities

4.14 Additional info on good observe within the supply of house variations will be obtained from Foundations, a physique funded by the federal government to assist native authorities and residential enchancment companies round native DFG supply.

The important thing phases

4.15 There are 5 key phases of delivering a house adaptation:

  • Stage 0: first contact with providers
  • Stage 1: first contact to evaluation and identification of the related works;
  • Stage 2: identification of the related works to submission of the formal grant utility
  • Stage 3: grant utility to grant approval
  • Stage 4: approval of grant to completion of works.

4.16 The timescales for shifting by way of these phases will rely upon the urgency and complexity of the variations required. Extra pressing circumstances ought to be prioritised for motion, however bigger and extra advanced schemes will take longer to finish. The next desk units out finest observe targets, which ought to be met in 95% of circumstances. (see 4.36 to 4.39 for definitions.

Goal timescales (working days)

Kind Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Complete
Pressing & Easy 5 25 5 20 55
Non-urgent & Easy 20 50 20 40 130
Pressing & Advanced 20 45 5 60 130
Non-urgent & Advanced 35 55 20 80 180

4.17 You will need to maintain the consumer up to date on progress (and any potential delays) in any respect phases. Folks informed in regards to the causes of delay usually tend to settle for it and should supply methods to mitigate any issues.

First contact

4.18 Authorities ought to put in place pre-application processes to effectively channel enquiries into probably the most acceptable sort of help at an early stage or signpost them to extra acceptable companies to assist resolve their issues.

The supply of excellent info, recommendation, and publicity

4.19 The supply of clear, concise, straightforward to know and readily accessible info is an important facet of offering a great service. It is necessary that anybody who wants it has acceptable entry to details about DFGs, native insurance policies for offering help, and tips on how to apply. Authorities, working with accomplice companies, ought to produce info in a spread of codecs, together with on the authority web site. This could embrace:

  • the kinds of grant, mortgage or different help accessible;
  • whether or not their private circumstances make them eligible to use, with an affordable expectation of receiving some type of help;
  • tips on how to make an enquiry and utility for help, together with any utility varieties;
  • any assist or recommendation accessible with making an utility by way of house enchancment companies or companions in any mortgage scheme working regionally;
  • approval and fee processes;
  • what occurs if they begin work earlier than approval;
  • any situations that apply;
  • how their contribution (if any) or mortgage repayments can be calculated and when the mortgage compensation could be required;
  • tips on how to resolve issues throughout and after completion of works;
  • goal timescales for working completely different elements of the method, reminiscent of instances taken for evaluation, survey, approval and building phases;
  • help that could be accessible as a substitute of or along with a grant or mortgage;
  • recommendation, help and advocacy providers that could be accessible the place assist is required;
  • provisions for coping with requests for help that fall exterior the coverage and the complaints process.

Authorities ought to guarantee the data offered is up-to-date, accessible and simply understood for instance, by individuals with studying and communication difficulties, or by these whose first language just isn’t English.

Public info and self-assessment

Foundations (the Nationwide Physique for Dwelling Enchancment Companies in England) host the AdaptMyHome.org.uk web site which incorporates normal details about DFG and residential variations.
It additionally features a guided self-assessment that assist individuals to think about:

  • whether or not they would profit from making variations to their house;
  • in the event that they could be eligible to use for a DFG;
  • whether or not they could be higher to think about shifting to someplace extra appropriate; and
  • their estimated contribution in the direction of the prices by way of means testing.

By coming into their postcode they will additionally discover the contact particulars of their native authority or ahead the small print of their self-assessment.

Native authorities are capable of register and replace their particulars.

Coping with complaints

4.20 The correct to complain about variations providers ought to be clearly set out on every authority’s web site and different media and made accessible to enquirers after they first make contact. This info ought to element who they need to complain to and the processes and timescales concerned. For circumstances that can’t be resolved by way of the traditional complaints process, contact particulars for the Native Authorities and Social Care Ombudsman also needs to be offered.

4.21 Authorities also needs to have a contingency fund to pay for treatments to be swiftly carried out when variations have gone incorrect. Folks in these circumstances shouldn’t be put in a queue to attend for a reassessment.

Offering an efficient response to enquiries and referrals

4.22 To make sure purchasers obtain a seamless service, on preliminary enquiry there ought to be an preliminary screening course of, with agreed standards, to find out whether or not an evaluation is required for different types of social care help.

4.23 The place the enquiry is obtained by a social providers contact centre, housing wants ought to be an integral a part of any wants evaluation. Individuals who don’t qualify for social care providers could nonetheless be entitled to a DFG.

4.24 Agreed standards for assessing adaptation wants ought to be used. This could embrace standards to allow an preliminary stage of precedence of the case – this may be revised later within the mild of further info or modifications of non-public circumstances.

4.25 The important necessities embrace:

  • a way of figuring out and prioritising pressing circumstances;
  • different standards that will help in setting a precedence based mostly on the wants of the consumer. An instance of arbitrary standards could be a call to offer low precedence to individuals searching for assist with bathing issues; and
  • a system for checking {that a} appropriate resolution has been made, for instance by feeding again to the consumer or the referral company the data which has been logged to make sure that it’s appropriate.

4.26 A written response, or response in one other format as acceptable, ought to be made to each enquiry offering a proof of the motion which is to be taken and the anticipated time scale. It ought to clarify who’s answerable for every motion (together with the consumer if extra info is required) and may give a transparent level of contact.

4.27 The consumer ought to be knowledgeable of the subsequent steps, together with when they need to count on a response and phone particulars to observe up within the occasion of delay. The date on the preliminary enquiry ought to be thought to be the start line for a request for help for measuring in opposition to the goal timescales as set out in paragraph 4.16.

4.28 Authorities also needs to contemplate introducing a safe on-line portal the place purchasers can verify the progress of their case.

Single level of contact

4.29 The response to referrals or enquiries ought to establish a single level of contact, who the consumer can contact for details about their case. Ideally, this contact level ought to stay the identical all through the method, reasonably than being transferred, for instance, from social providers to housing if a DFG has been recognized as the suitable answer.

Preliminary means check for DFG

4.30 The DFG means check is in place to make sure that DFG funding reaches these people who find themselves on the bottom incomes and least capable of afford to pay for the variations themselves.

4.31 Authorities ought to contemplate a preliminary means check for DFG at an early stage. It may be irritating for each candidates and workers to find at a late stage that the DFG means check signifies they’ll obtain little or no monetary help. A preliminary enquiry about sources (e.g. by way of a self-service on-line portal reminiscent of adaptmyhome.org.uk) can short-circuit these delays and should encourage the disabled particular person to pursue different options.

4.32 Extra info on the means check will be present in Appendix B at paragraph B98.

Triage and evaluation

4.33 Everyone seems to be a person and one dimension doesn’t match all. Assessments ought to be particular person centred, and contemplate the person views, values and cultural wants of the consumer. Practitioners in housing, well being and social care ought to work collectively to assist guarantee purchasers really feel assured and empowered to handle day by day dangers, drawing upon purchasers’ strengths and belongings to attain optimistic outcomes.

4.34 For disabled youngsters and younger individuals, assessments ought to take account of their views and people of their dad and mom. Assessments of disabled youngsters ought to contemplate the developmental wants of the kid and their progress in the direction of most independence, the wants of their dad and mom as carers and the wants of different youngsters within the household.

Autism and behaviours that problem

The place house variations are being thought-about to cope with behaviours that problem, the household and carers of the disabled particular person ought to be extremely concerned within the evaluation discussions and resolution making course of. Additionally it is good observe to seek the advice of with specialist colleagues to totally discover the right stability between therapeutic interventions and variations.

The place behaviours threaten the protection of others residing throughout the family, the grant can be utilized to scale back the dangers to their security. For example, the place siblings share a bed room and there may be the specter of hurt throughout the evening, then making a separate bed room can meet this goal.

Grant may be used to create a protected area for an individual who’s more likely to injure themselves. This might, for instance, embrace objects reminiscent of upholstered and washable partitions, tender flooring, radiator covers or a tv enclosure. See Appendix A for additional particulars on use of capital funding.

Triage

4.35 It’s endorsed that authorities use a triage system to make an preliminary evaluation of the complexity and urgency of a case. An excellent triage system will assist everybody acquire a shared understanding of the doubtless timescales for supply. It should additionally allow the precise workforce with the precise abilities to correctly assess the case. Occupational therapists could be a restricted useful resource, so it is smart for certified Trusted Assessors to evaluate less complicated circumstances, enabling occupational therapists to concentrate on probably the most advanced circumstances.

Deciding what’s advanced and desires occupational remedy enter

4.36 To successfully route purchasers down completely different pathways, you will need to perceive the potential complexity of the case on the outset. A complexity framework for house modification providers has been developed in Australia which considers two elements of complexity:

  • Firstly, whether or not the variation is more likely to be minor or main, outlined by the structural modifications required to adapt the house atmosphere reasonably than value.
  • Secondly, whether or not the particular person’s state of affairs is easy or sophisticated – utilizing a spread of things together with the character of the particular person’s situation, the kind of exercise the particular person is eager to do, and the way prepared the particular person is to have their house tailored.
Complexity model with Major/Minor on one axis and Straightforward/Complicated on the other axis. Complex is Major and Complicated Simple is Major and Straightforward or Minor and Complicated

4.37 This mannequin will be tailored to establish the circumstances the place occupational remedy enter can be most helpful. Extra element on adopting this strategy will be discovered within the Variations with out Delay framework printed by the Royal Faculty of Occupational Therapists.

Deciding the urgency

4.38 Authorities are beneficial to deal with circumstances as pressing within the following circumstances:

  • Popping out of hospital and in danger
  • Residing alone and in danger
  • Extreme cognitive dysfunction and in danger
  • Residing with a carer who’s aged or disabled
  • Residing with out heating or sizzling water and in danger
  • Restricted life expectancy

4.39 Categorising complexity and urgency at this early stage will set the goal timescales for the remainder of the method. Nonetheless, this ought to be stored beneath evaluation as circumstances change or if additional info is uncovered throughout the evaluation.

Evaluation of want

4.40 Within the DFG evaluation, the authority should establish the consumer’s wants and what ‘related works’ are vital and acceptable to fulfill their wants. Additional info on laws across the related works and what’s vital and acceptable will be discovered at Appendix B, paragraph B61. Beneath are some key rules to think about when figuring out the variations wanted.

  • The first goal ought to be to switch a house atmosphere to assist restore or allow impartial residing, privateness, confidence and dignity for people and their households.
  • The DFG can be utilized for a variety of capital works to a house offered it meets the needs set out within the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 (see Appendix B, para B45).
  • Authorities ought to decide every request for variations on its deserves in accordance with the laws (see Appendix B) and never hunt down causes to refuse or delay approval.
  • The start line and persevering with focus ought to be the wants skilled and recognized by the consumer and their carers. The method ought to be considered one of partnership during which the older or disabled particular person and carers are the important thing companions.
  • All companions ought to work to make sure that every adaptation is delivered sensitively, is match for the aim recognized by the consumer, their household, or their carers, and inside a timeframe that’s made express on the outset.
  • Authorities ought to contemplate how finest to attain worth for cash, taking into consideration:
    – tips on how to design variations that may meet present and anticipated future wants; and
    – projected prices of well being and social care in the long run.
  • Worth for cash won’t at all times be achieved by selecting the most cost effective choice. An adaptation ought to fulfill the current and anticipated wants of the disabled particular person even in massive and complicated variations costing above the grant most of at the moment £30,000.

Recycling variations and worth for cash

When contemplating worth for cash native authorities ought to keep in mind their funding into the long run accessibility of the housing inventory of their space.

For instance, finishing up the minimal works essential to adapt a rest room to fulfill the useful wants of a disabled particular person is unlikely to see these variations retained on the subsequent change of occupier.
For specialist gear reminiscent of stairlifts, homelifts, hoists and so forth, authorities ought to contemplate how this stuff will be reclaimed, refurbished and recycled to be used by others who may have them. There are completely different approaches to think about, together with:

  • Together with recycling inside a bulk buying association / framework.
  • Establishing an settlement with a supplier to reclaim and refurbish gear and supply them at a reduced fee to people who find themselves not eligible for a DFG
  • Reclaiming lifts to the area people gear retailer for refurbishment and re-use.

Authorities also needs to contemplate the good thing about offering long run upkeep agreements and warranties for specialist gear. This may be certain that the merchandise will proceed to function over an extended interval and keep the independence of the disabled particular person.

Tailor-made options

4.41 Variations ought to present a sustainable and efficient, individualised answer, together with contemplating the position that assistive expertise might play in assembly the recognized wants (see Chapter 7). It is necessary that the evaluation of want focuses on what’s necessary to the disabled particular person, reasonably than solely on security and performance.

4.42 To scale back the danger of putting in inappropriate variations, authorities ought to observe the 9 guiding rules recognized by Heywood (2004) in her analysis into the wants older and disabled individuals contemplate necessary when being assessed:

  • Must retain (or restore) dignity
  • Must have values recognised
  • Want for aid from ache, discomfort, and hazard
  • Must minimise limitations to independence
  • Want for some aspect of selection
  • Want for good communication as a part of giving selection
  • Want for mild
  • Specific wants of kids: to supply for development and alter; and the necessity for area
  • Wants of different members of the family and of the household as an entire

4.43 The above rules present a framework to assist decision-making and communication of what works are vital and acceptable in every case.

A collaborative mannequin of evaluation for advanced circumstances

4.44 An built-in strategy between the occupational therapist and technical officer is beneficial to assist decide the eligible works in advanced circumstances.

4.45 In advanced circumstances an occupational therapist could require the assist of a technical officer to establish what variations are cheap and practicable to put in given structural limitations of the property. Solely then can the occupational therapist advocate (in collaboration with the consumer), which answer is suitable. Extra info on what is taken into account cheap and practicable will be present in Annex B paragraph B84.

4.46 An built-in strategy to evaluation is illustrated in Determine 3 and demonstrates that the consumer is on the centre of the method:

  • 1. This begins with the evaluation of want and with figuring out whether it is essential to adapt the house atmosphere.
  • 2. The following step includes contemplating the house atmosphere and figuring out the potential options for adapting the house atmosphere and assembly the wants of the particular person.
  • 3. From the vary of options, the occupational therapist collaborates with the particular person to establish probably the most acceptable answer.
  • 4. The ultimate stage of the method considers whether or not it’s cheap to award a grant.
Who to consider what is necessary, practicable, appropriate and reasonable for complex adaptations

Consumer selection

4.47 Generally the consumer will agree the ‘related works’ which might be vital and acceptable to fulfill their wants. Nonetheless, there can be events when a consumer wish to contemplate completely different or extra in depth works to their house. This can be as a result of they want further works exterior the traditional functions of DFG or as a result of a desire on how they intend to make use of their house.

4.48 Authorities ought to contemplate how they assist consumer selection and never search to disclaim entry to a Dwelling Enchancment Company service for circumstances the place a consumer seeks to train their selection. See Appendix B, para B90 for tips on how to calculate the quantity of grant.

Chapter 5: The applying

5.1 Native housing authorities have an obligation to think about all formal DFG purposes. This contains successive DFG purposes for variations in the identical property (see Appendix B para B111).

5.2 Native housing authorities ought to make sure the wants of candidates are on the coronary heart of the grant utility course of, together with by way of the availability of clear info to candidates, and specification design.

5.3 The recommendation on this chapter applies each to DFG purposes made beneath the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 and to different grants and loans contained in an area Housing Help Coverage.

Software varieties

5.4 Software varieties ought to be accessible on request, be written in plain English and be easy to know. It’s for an authority to determine its personal utility processes according to its native help coverage.

5.5 It is necessary that the quantity of data sought from an applicant ought to be proportionate to the extent and price of the work. For small-scale variations candidates ought to have to supply solely the minimal quantity of data vital. As a matter of excellent observe normal utility varieties can allow the operation of a clear and truthful system, assist make finest use of public funds, and help with detecting and stopping fraud.

5.6 When designing new utility varieties authorities could discover it useful to seek advice from the next guidelines of things to be included:

  • the title, tackle and age of the particular person making use of for help;
  • the title and tackle of the proprietor of the property;
  • the tackle of the property for which help is being sought;
  • whether or not the applicant is an proprietor, landlord or tenant;
  • the availability of ample info on the revenue and outgoings of the applicant to allow the evaluation of any contribution or their means to finance mortgage repayments;
  • a abstract of works required or the prices of supplies;
  • an in depth breakdown of the works together with aggressive estimates from at the least 2 builders;
  • particulars of any agent dealing with the applying;
  • particulars of ancillary providers and expenses;
  • certificates of owner-occupation;
  • certificates of possession;
  • tenant’s certificates;
  • certificates binding candidates to supply info when required, to reveal that they’re complying with any situations the native authority has set;
  • proof of title;
  • utility invoice exhibiting the applicant’s title, and the tackle of the applying property;
  • legitimate utility date;
  • a transparent assertion that every one info offered by the applicant can be checked completely and may very well be shared with different organisations dealing with public funds to stop and detect fraud;
  • a transparent assertion that knowingly offering false info or withholding info might result in prosecution for fraud; and
  • provision of an announcement that the proprietor of the property consents to the work being undertaken.

5.7 Authorities could want to search recommendation from their authorized departments in regards to the wording of sure elements reminiscent of in relation to the prevention and detection of fraud.

Help for the grant utility course of

5.8 Some individuals would require assist to submit a grant utility, together with the availability of drawings and specs, planning permission and aggressive estimates. Serving to an applicant to navigate the method and make a grant utility in a well timed method is a vital a part of delivering good outcomes.

5.9 Native authorities can not make expenses for processing grant purposes or for responding to enquiries. (See Appendix A: Identifying capital expenditure for DFG purposes)

Involving an company service

5.10 Native authorities ought to contemplate offering a Dwelling Enchancment Company service to supply sensible assist to hold out house variations and enhancements. The service supplied varies however usually covers assist in diagnosing points, figuring out options, aiding in elevating cash to cowl the prices (together with grant purposes), choosing a builder, and making certain that work is carried out correctly. Some companies are impartial non-profit organisations, some are run by housing associations or personal firms, and others function in-house inside an area authority. Additional info on the position of companies in serving to older and disabled individuals will be obtained from Foundations, the physique at the moment funded by the federal government to assist them.

Knowledge sharing

5.11 The place a couple of organisation is concerned in creating an utility, there ought to both be a single joint IT system or acceptable information sharing protocols in place. Utilizing the NHS quantity as a typical area ought to permit for correct information matching between completely different programs. This may minimise delays and permit for the entire course of to be monitored.

5.12 Utilizing a casework administration system can considerably enhance supply. Environment friendly workflows, automated era of paperwork and complete reporting performance are important elements of an efficient system.

Confirming eligibility

5.13 Solely sure persons are capable of make a sound utility and in lots of circumstances this won’t be the disabled particular person themself. Authorities ought to take acceptable steps to verify eligibility of the applicant, together with contemplating who can signal the required certificates containing details about future occupation of the property, who has to offer permission for related works to go forward, and whether or not the disabled particular person meets the means check necessities for the grant.

5.14 The laws to tell how an area authority ought to make their selections on a DFG utility is about out in Appendix B: The legislation, together with info on figuring out:

  • The disabled occupant (definition of a disabled particular person – which incorporates disabilities as a result of older age – and consideration of the place the disabled particular person lives or intends to reside)
  • The applicant (together with utility course of per tenure, the grant situation interval and intention to reside, and variations for the Armed Forces Neighborhood)
  • The eligible works (together with the needs, related works, and what’s vital and acceptable, and practicable and cheap)
  • The quantity of grant (together with the grant most per particular person applicant, providers and expenses, means check and exemptions, successive purposes and nil grants, and utility approvals)
  • The grant situations (together with expenses on properties, nomination rights, restoration of apparatus, funds, modifications in circumstances, insurance coverage and authorized claims)

Confirming possession

5.15 The overwhelming majority of properties are actually registered with the Land Registry, and searchable on-line. Housing workers ought to request direct entry to those programs to simply affirm whether or not an applicant does have an proprietor’s curiosity (the place relevant).

The means check

5.16 An applicant will be passported by way of the means check if they’re already in receipt of means examined welfare advantages. Division of Work and Pensions (DWP) advantages information will be accessed by way of an internet buyer info system referred to as Searchlight, so native authorities do not need to gather this info from the applicant.

5.17 The place a way check applies, the applicant might want to present proof of revenue and financial savings. This proof ought to be collected with the applying kind. The method of approval shouldn’t be delayed by searching for this info later.

5.18 All requests for monetary info, and communication of the end result, ought to be handled sensitively and with the very best stage of confidentiality.

Confirming the works

Commonplace specs and 3D design

5.19 In creating specs, authorities ought to contemplate the aesthetics of variations in addition to performance. Frequent specs can save effort and time, though private wants and properties differ, so these ought to be flexed the place wanted to fulfill the character of every job. The extent of specification ought to be acceptable to the job. For easy jobs, a normal instruction to the contractor can suffice, however in additional advanced circumstances, a person detailed specification with drawings can be vital. Authorities ought to strategy variations as a longer-term funding, notably the place they might be utilized by future residents. The nationwide physique of house enchancment companies, Foundations, can present extra info on the event of frequent specs and good variations design.

5.20 Most individuals know little or no about variations. 3D design instruments can assist individuals higher talk how they use their house, and assist practitioners present the house adaptation choices accessible. Such instruments can enhance communication and keep away from misunderstandings.

5.21 In all circumstances, purchasers ought to be totally concerned with the design and specification of works to their house. Relying on the circumstances, the settlement and consent of different affected events (reminiscent of a landlord) may additionally be required.

5.22 There could also be events when a consumer would favor a extra in depth adaptation than the authority has assessed as being vital and acceptable. In these circumstances it may well nonetheless be acceptable to assist the applying, whereas making it clear what stage of grant can be accessible and the way a lot further funding is required. Authorities shouldn’t withhold assist just because the applicant has the means to fund extra in depth works than may very well be funded by a grant alone.

Flat pack extensions

The place further area is required to fulfill the wants of the disabled particular person a house extension could also be required. At the moment most extensions funded by way of DFG are constructed historically with concrete foundations and brick and block flooring. Whereas this strategy is tried and trusted it’s labour intensive – often creating months of mess and disturbance, notably during times of inclement climate, requiring on-going supervision by the native authority.

An alternate is to make use of fashionable strategies of building – flat pack extensions which might be made in factories and assembled on website. By utilizing screw pile foundations there may be little or no materials to be excavated and these extensions will be climate tight in a number of days and accomplished inside as little as 2 weeks.

Most flat packs use structural insulated panels (SIPs) that are very thermally environment friendly and supply a powerful fixing for grabrails and different gear. For websites with poor entry the panels can often be carried by way of the home.
Prices are often equal to a standard construct, however by increasing using flat pack extension ought to open the marketplace for larger innovation and effectivity sooner or later.

Planning permission

5.23 You will need to be certain that planning approval procedures don’t add pointless delays to the variation course of. Native housing authorities ought to:

  • liaise with the native planning division (which can usually be throughout the similar authority) to find out issues which would require planning permission and any distinctive circumstances (for instance when a property lies inside a conservation space);
  • perceive “permitted growth rights” for house extensions
  • develop procedures to help candidates to acquire planning permission rapidly, utilizing their data and expertise; and
  • develop procedures to resolve issues with planning permission the place these come up, together with using short-term planning permissions.

Tendering procedures

5.24 As a way to guarantee good worth for cash, probably the most acceptable tendering procedures must be thought-about. At a minimal, 2 aggressive estimates will usually be required. Please see Appendix B paragraph B90 for extra info on estimates for the price of the eligible works.

5.25 Authorities ought to contemplate whether or not to supply entry to contractors who’ve agreed a schedule of charges for variations work. Commonplace clauses to be used in specs or contracts also needs to be adopted wherever doable. The advantages of such a system are appreciable: prices will be calculated straight from the specification, a price of works mounted, and the extent of grant assessed with out ready for tenders to be returned and evaluated. On-line programs can be found to handle the method and a Dynamic Procurement System (DPS) can also be effectively suited to this kind of work.

5.26 For ceaselessly used gear, authorities could make appreciable financial savings by way of bulk buy preparations, though there ought to be some scope for ordering exterior the usual vary. Framework agreements can permit authorities to supply candidates with entry to particular person objects at a “contract” value, together with choices for reclaiming and recycling of apparatus. (See Chapter 3 for tips on how to make this a situation of grant funding).

Service contracts

5.27 Some objects put in as a part of an adaptation, reminiscent of stair and through-floor lifts and ceiling hoists, will want common servicing and restore. It’s good observe for preparations, masking the doubtless service lifetime of the gear, to be made on the time of set up. The price of an prolonged assure or service contract to be paid upfront on commissioning will be included within the calculation of grant payable.

Approval of the applying

5.28 The 1996 Act units a most interval of 6 months for an area authority to determine an utility. This timescale permits for circumstances the place an utility is developed independently of the native authority. In observe, the overwhelming majority of approvals can be a simple means of checking the small print gathered throughout the utility stage and may take not than 5 working days for an pressing case or 20 working days for a non-urgent case.

5.29 In some circumstances there can be works which might be extra pressing than others. In these circumstances the pressing works ought to be accredited upfront of the rest the place ready might trigger hurt. For instance, an utility for a raise could also be accredited whereas plans for lavatory works are being ready. The approval will be redetermined at a later date to incorporate the opposite variations.

5.30 The place a variation to the initially accredited scheme is important, authorities are required to hunt the applicant’s consent to the variation (until the applicant has requested it). That is notably necessary as an applicant’s contribution might improve with the elevated value of labor, or an area land cost might apply. It isn’t beneficial to incorporate a contingency sum inside each grant approval as it’ll make it tougher to estimate the general quantity of funding dedicated and require each approval to be redetermined when the works are accomplished.

5.31 In approving any grant, mortgage or different type of help, authorities are required to set out:

  • The kind(s) of help being accredited
  • The particular person(s) and property to which the help applies
  • An outline of the works to be carried out (the eligible works)
  • The estimated value of the works
  • The estimated value of any related charges and expenses
  • The applicant’s anticipated contribution in the direction of the prices and the way this can be paid
  • The quantity of help accredited and the utmost quantity that may be offered
  • Cut-off dates for the graduation and completion of works, having regard to the character and extent of the assisted work
  • The contractor(s) anticipated to hold out the works
  • Any phrases and situations that apply to the help being offered, together with any native land expenses and circumstances during which they might be waived sooner or later
  • What would occur if circumstances change earlier than the works are accomplished and when help could also be reclaimed
  • If and when recovering and recycling of any gear would apply (e.g. ceiling hoists and stairlifts)
  • The method for signing off the works and paying the contractor(s) with caveats about various fee authorisation the place there’s a dispute about high quality of labor
  • Necessities for certificates and invoices to be offered
  • Accountability for ongoing repairs and upkeep after the works are accomplished
  • That the applicant’s house insurance coverage firm and mortgage supplier ought to be notified as relevant

5.32 All this info ought to be accessible on the native authority’s web site and made accessible to potential candidates early within the course of.

Chapter 6: Contractors and managing the works

6.1 Contractors are an important a part of the house variations course of. Authorities ought to develop an inventory of certified contractors who will ship high quality works in a well timed method, with due consideration for the wants of the disabled particular person and their household. Supply by way of company providers can allow a greater service to candidates, and permit the authority to raised management requirements of labor and regulatory compliance, as a part of an everyday monitoring and vetting course of.

Managing lists of accredited builders

6.2 Authorities ought to strongly contemplate establishing an inventory of accredited builders for house adaptation works. Such schemes carry vital advantages by setting standards for inclusion reminiscent of:

  • requirements of buyer care reminiscent of holding to appointments, holding the positioning tidy, controlling noise and so on.;
  • vetting of economic standing, tax and VAT standing;
  • requiring using appropriate constructing contracts;
  • selling good well being and security practices;
  • requiring using guarantee schemes;
  • carrying of native authority designated ID badges;
  • making certain that ample insurance coverage is held;
  • requiring references; and
  • offering candidates with begin and completion timescales.

6.3 right here ought to be clear and clear standards and processes for making use of to be included, and for exclusion or removing. Authorities could want to collaborate on establishing an inventory that covers a variety of native authority areas, sharing the prices.

6.4 Authorities ought to adequately handle the listing, together with consumer suggestions as a part of the common monitoring to encourage good customer support. Constantly poor suggestions ought to lead to motion and finally removing from the listing. Candidates ought to concentrate on whether or not a builder is on the accredited listing, and that the authorized and contractual relationship is between the applicant and builder and never with the native authority.

6.5 It’s good observe to have a written code of conduct setting out what to anticipate from builders. This might embrace issues like holding the consumer knowledgeable, defending the property, welfare services, tips on how to cope with variations, and what to incorporate with the bill. When everybody is aware of what’s anticipated, jobs run extra easily.

6.6 Authorities may also contemplate using Trustmark to offer customers larger confidence in selecting a constructing contractor. Trustmark is the one UK authorities accredited trusted dealer scheme and contains strong requirements, dispute decision providers, and added safety by the use of insurance coverage backed warranties.

6.7 Organising a contractors’ discussion board to supply coaching (e.g. from native constructing management officers), talk about modifications in rules, and seek the advice of on new proposals can present that you just respect what they do and wish to work with them to enhance providers. Some authorities are anxious about potential cartels, however with strong procurement practices the danger is low in comparison with the advantages of correct engagement.

Delivering constructing works

6.8 The works should often be accomplished inside 12 months of the approval date (see Appendix B, para B131)

6.9 When an applicant has chosen an appropriate contractor and the grant has been accredited, authorities ought to contemplate how to make sure a great working relationship is established. Arranging constructing works could be a irritating course of however there are methods that may be put in place to stop pointless issues.

Pre-start conferences

6.10 Authorities ought to contemplate holding a pre-start assembly to correctly introduce the consumer and contractor, talk about the sequence of occasions, another issues, who to contact if there’s a downside and signal the constructing contract. Use a easy agenda, file all the data and share the small print. Investing time in setting jobs as much as succeed means they’re far much less more likely to go incorrect.

6.11 Additionally it is effectively price having a booklet that tells your consumer what they need to count on whereas the contractor is working of their house, to stop misunderstandings later. Be certain that the consumer is aware of who to contact in case of an issue or emergency.

Constructing contracts

6.12 It’s endorsed {that a} formal contract is signed between the applicant and the contractor for all constructing works. This may set out the rights and duties of each events and may embrace the position of contract administrator, usually the technical officer employed by the company/native authority.

Fee

6.13 The authority might want to contemplate the phrases of the contract between the applicant and contractor when making any funds. The authority will often pay the grant on to the contractor however should notify the applicant earlier than approval of the applying.

6.14 The grant will both be paid in instalments because the work progresses or in full on completion. Extra info will be discovered at Appendix B, paragraph B129.

Web site supervision

6.15 Establishing and sustaining an inventory of accredited contractors, internet hosting pre-start conferences, and signing formal contracts ought to minimise the requirement for ongoing supervision of constructing works on website. Nonetheless, all main adaptation work ought to be visited by a supervising officer at the least as soon as while in progress. The consumer ought to at all times be concerned and given a possibility to touch upon the progress of works and lift any difficulties or queries. If there are any disagreements or doubts in regards to the suitability of the works to fulfill the wants of the disabled particular person then the supervising officer ought to prepare a joint website assembly with the one who carried out the evaluation, the consumer and the contractor.

Variations

6.16 For any constructing job, there may be potential for unexpected works which might add to the general value of the required works. Any variations that require an elevated contribution from the consumer, together with any land expenses, ought to be formally agreed earlier than continuing.

Log out

6.17 Contractors ought to be inspired to develop a “proper first time” strategy, with no snagging objects remaining upon completion. Requiring the contractor to systematically submit photographic proof for each undertaking can allow a top quality audit to be carried out remotely. The information may also help with investigations into any issues or defects that happen later. For advanced initiatives it’s good observe for the one who carried out the evaluation to verify the suitability of the finished variations. In all circumstances the consumer ought to signal to verify their acceptance of the finished works.

Chapter 7: The Disabled Amenities Grant and assistive expertise

Assistive expertise

7.1 In keeping with the Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA), the time period ‘assistive expertise’ refers to ‘merchandise or programs that assist and help people with disabilities, restricted mobility or different impairments to carry out capabilities which may in any other case be troublesome or not possible’.

7.2 Assistive applied sciences allow individuals to reside wholesome, productive, impartial and dignified lives. They can assist individuals take part in training and the labour market in addition to keep involved with household, associates and carers and use on-line providers to entry purchasing, leisure and knowledge.

7.3 There’s a massive market in specialist assistive expertise, providing a variety of services and products to assist disabled individuals of their on a regular basis lives. As well as, mainstream applied sciences additionally typically have options that may be helpful for disabled individuals.

7.4 Assistive expertise will be included as a part of a DFG award bundle to maximise the advantages of house variations. This can be a non-exhaustive listing of examples of specialist and mainstream assistive applied sciences that may be offered by way of the Grant. The examples are organised based on the completely different DFG functions they assist.

Sensible properties expertise

The vary of expertise accessible to regulate the capabilities of a house have elevated considerably because the DFG was first launched in 1990. The price of gear has additionally decreased as use of assistive expertise has grow to be extra mainstream. For instance, a system to handle and monitor the interior atmosphere that used to value a number of thousand kilos can now be achieved for lower than £300.

Native authorities ought to contemplate probably the most acceptable manner to supply good expertise the place it’s not half of a bigger adaptation, and whether or not an utility for DFG is probably the most value efficient manner to take action. Some areas embrace a streamlined grant inside their Housing Help Coverage (see Chapter 3:).

The DFG is a capital grant and authorities also needs to keep in mind their de-minimis limits and the continuing prices of any upkeep or monitoring.

The Disabled Amenities Grant and assistive expertise

7.5 Facilitating entry to and motion throughout the dwelling

  • Automated door openers to permit easy accessibility to the residence
  • Stair and platform lifts to assist individuals with mobility impairments traverse steps

7.6 The preparation and cooking of meals

  • Tailored and peak adjustable cooking surfaces

7.7 Accessing and utilizing the bed room

  • Ceiling monitor hoists to assist individuals with mobility impairments to switch from a wheelchair or armchair to mattress

7.8 Controlling sources of energy, mild and warmth

  • Sensible lighting that may be remotely turned on and off, made brighter or dimmed, change color and synchronise with different gadgets
  • Sensible thermostats that may mechanically be taught consumer temperature preferences and self-adjust when customers depart or enter a room, and be remotely managed by way of a sensible cellphone or one other system
  • Sensible hubs that permit individuals to regulate family gadgets and home equipment utilizing a voice activated assistant, an app on their good cellphone or another assistive expertise.
  • Infrared managed energy sockets to modify gadgets on and off with a distant management
  • Automated mild switches that may be activated utilizing voice instructions, a sensible cellphone app, or by way of sensor triggered by motion or a timer

Enhancing digital connectivity inside a dwelling

7.9 Native authorities ought to be aware that some merchandise may have an appropriate stage of digital connectivity to operate. If the dwelling doesn’t have already got the required infrastructure to assist assistive applied sciences, they might use the Disabled Amenities Grant to fund capital gear whether it is required to assist the general bundle of variations to the house reminiscent of:

  • Wi-fi routers
  • Wi-Fi sign extenders
  • Cabling

Upkeep and assist prices

7.10 Some assistive applied sciences have related ongoing upkeep and assist prices. The DFG can fund set up prices and costs related to the preliminary arrange of the capital adaptation (see Appendix A: Identifying capital expenditure for DFG purposes), nevertheless it doesn’t fund ongoing upkeep or assist prices. Ongoing prices (reminiscent of month-to-month charges to an Web Service Supplier) can’t be included in a DFG award. Nonetheless, there are a selection of the way to handle these bills in tandem with different native and nationwide public providers and programmes, together with by:

  • Prolonged ensures or a service plan (if bought up entrance as half on the time of set up) will be thought-about as a part of a grant award.
  • Sharing prices with people and their households – best when the preliminary interval is freed from cost to permit individuals sufficient time to grow to be acquainted with the expertise and its advantages
  • Sharing or transferring prices to different native and nationwide public providers, reminiscent of:
    – Grownup social providers – together with social care budgets, such because the Built-in Neighborhood Gear Service (ICES) and Expertise Enabled Care Service (TECS) or telecare budgets.
    – Youngsters’s social providers SEND provision – together with Schooling, Well being and Care Plans (EHCPs).
    – Native well being providers – together with NHS Persevering with Healthcare (CHC) and telehealth providers.
    – NHS England’s nationally commissioned Environmental Controls Service – which supplies assistive expertise to assist individuals with advanced bodily disabilities take pleasure in larger independence at house.
    – The Division for Work and Pensions’ Entry to Work programme – can present funding for assist and changes (each within the office and dealing from house) reminiscent of specialist aids and gear for disabled individuals.

Assistive expertise assessments

7.11 Applicable assessments are important to creating positive that assistive expertise meets the wants of particular person customers and doesn’t fall into disuse. Assistive expertise assessments will be constructed into the triage and evaluation course of for the Disabled Amenities Grant described (in Chapter 4).

7.12 The goal of assistive expertise assessments ought to be to match the on a regular basis actions and situational necessities of the disabled particular person to the options and capabilities of the accessible services and products. Assessments have to be co-produced with the disabled particular person, their households and carers, taking account of their preferences, necessities and aspirations. This strategy encourages extra personalised resolution making than basing assessments solely on the particular person’s medical analysis.

7.13 Relying on the circumstances, assessments will be performed by certified occupational therapists, occupational remedy assistants, social staff and trusted assessors. As outlined in Chapter 4 above, assessments ought to be performed in a manner that’s proportionate to the complexity of an individual’s wants.

Utilizing discretionary housing funding for assistive expertise

7.14 Beneath the Regulatory Reform Order native housing authorities can supply discretionary funding – in any kind (e.g. a grant, mortgage or fairness launch) – to assist pay for house variations and repairs, offered that is in accord with a printed native coverage (see Chapter 3).

7.15 Discretionary funding can be utilized to:

  • Pace up the acquisition of assistive expertise on behalf of a disabled particular person by avoiding a number of the procedural necessities related to Disabled Amenities Grants
  • Fund specialised assistive expertise grants. Such grants will be designed to enhance entry to assistive expertise within the house for all native disabled individuals, or particularly geared toward enhancing the well being, wellbeing and independence of specific teams reminiscent of disabled youngsters and younger adults, individuals with dementia or autistic individuals.

Appendix A: Figuring out capital expenditure for DFG functions

The DFG supplies capital funding for the availability of house variations.
Capital expenditure sometimes contains expenditure on non-current belongings reminiscent of land, buildings and plant and gear.

To qualify as capital, expenditure incurred should lead to both the acquisition/building or addition/enhancement of an asset. As well as, the advantages to the entity from the works should final for a couple of accounting interval (i.e.: a couple of yr).

The grant can solely fund capital expenditure. Please seek the advice of your finance division about what will be classed as capital expenditure.

Beneath section 16(1) of the Local Government Act 2003, capital expenditure for an area authority is expenditure of the authority which falls to be capitalised in accordance with correct practices (although that is topic to 16(2)).
Correct practices are these set out within the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Accounting Code and thru statute that are summarised inside this code. Additional capital spend is listed in Regulation 25 of the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) Regulations 2003.

Monies spent have to be recorded as capital expenditure and licensed as such in a return to DLUHC.

Beneath are some examples of expenditure, explaining whether or not or not they may qualify as capital spend:

Kind of Expenditure Is it Capital Expenditure? Motive
Building of an extension to an present dwelling sure Creation of an asset, which can present profit for a couple of accounting interval.  
Main variations to present services reminiscent of a bathe adaptation, ramp or stairlift sure A significant adaptation, which can improve the financial advantages supplied by it – e.g.

Elevated independence / diminished care prices.

 
Changing a flooring masking or repairing a bathe unit no Repairs solely keep the asset; they don’t improve the lifetime of the dwelling.  
New alternative stairlift sure Creation of an asset, which can present profit for a interval of a couple of accounting interval.  
Repairs to stairlift after breakdown no Repairs solely keep the asset; they don’t materially improve the lifetime of the stairlift.  
Prolonged warranties for lifts and hoists generally May be thought-about for capitalisation as a part of the general undertaking prices of a brand new adaptation, as it’ll be certain that an asset that may present profit for a couple of accounting interval  
Slings for hoists and bathe seats generally May be thought-about for capitalisation as a part of the general undertaking prices of the brand new adaptation, which ends up in the creation of an asset that may present profit for a couple of accounting interval  
Sensible lighting, good thermostats generally May be thought-about for capitalisation as a part of the general undertaking prices of the brand new adaptation, which ends up in the creation of an asset that may present profit for a couple of accounting interval  
Hoists, bathe tables, and so on. sure New belongings that present profit for a couple of accounting interval.  
Refurbishment of present variations generally The restore of damaged or worn-out variations just isn’t capital. Nonetheless, prices may very well be capitalised if variations are being changed with a greater product (enhancement).

For instance, flush flooring bathe changing a tray with a step would qualify as betterment.

 
Conversion of a storage right into a liveable room sure Enhancement of an present asset which can final for a couple of accounting interval.  
Set up of a brand new kitchen together with new cooker, dishwasher, microwave sure Enhancement of an asset that may prolong its helpful life.  
Inside ornament of an present property generally Ornament solely maintains the asset; it doesn’t improve the lifetime of the constructing. May be thought-about as capital expenditure if included as a part of the entire undertaking prices of the variation  
Buy of supplies just for a serious adaptation undertaking sure If the supplies can be used for enhancement/betterment of the property the acquisition of supplies is classed as capital.

Supplies for routine repairs and upkeep are classed as income prices.

 
Buy of supplies for repairs and upkeep (e.g. a brand new bathe hose, alternative sections of fencing, elements for gear and so on) no Purchases related to routine upkeep and repairs could be classed as income expenditure.  
Company charges – for a serious adaptation. Applies to different charges sucha s planning and so on. sure May be thought-about as capital expenditure if included as a part of the entire undertaking prices of the variation – see providers and expenses order under.  
Employees prices for supporting the supply of main variations sure May be thought-about as capital expenditure for direct assist to purchasers/candidates (together with recommendation) linked to the actions within the providers and expenses order (under)  
Occupational remedy evaluation charges sure May be thought-about as capital expenditure if included as a part of the entire undertaking prices of the variation and carried out and invoiced by a non-public OT (see providers and expenses order as under)  
Funding different short-term lodging when residents want to maneuver out throughout the execution of constructing works sure May be thought-about as capital expenditure if included as a part of the entire undertaking prices of the variation  
Coaching of workers no No, as no asset is being created.  
Funding in the direction of buy of a brand new dwelling? sure Acquisition of an asset, which can present profit for a couple of accounting interval. Watch out round leases. May embrace value of advising and supporting somebody to maneuver.  
Evaluation and approval of grant purposes no No, as no asset is being created.  
Growing insurance policies and techniques on house variations no No, as no asset is being created.  
Supervision of workers no No, as no asset is being created.  
Monitoring of this system no No, as no asset is being created.  
Delivering a handyperson service generally Sure, the place new variations are being fitted that may last more than a yr and assist somebody to reside independently. However not if the service is predominantly finishing up repairs

Specified providers and expenses order

The Housing Renewal Grants (Providers and Prices) Order 1996 specified the providers and expenses which will be correctly included inside an utility for a Disabled Amenities Grant:

a) affirmation, if sought by the native authority, that the applicant has an proprietor’s curiosity,

b) technical and structural surveys,

c) design and preparation of plans and drawings,

d) preparation of schedules of related works,

e) help in finishing varieties,

f) recommendation on financing the prices of the related works which aren’t met by grant;

g) purposes for constructing rules approval (together with utility payment and preparation of associated paperwork),

h) purposes for planning permission (together with utility payment and preparation of associated paperwork),

i) purposes for listed constructing consent (together with utility payment and preparation of associated paperwork),

j) purposes for conservation space consent (together with utility payment and preparation of associated paperwork),

ok) acquiring of estimates,

l) recommendation on contracts,

m) consideration of tenders,

n) supervision of the related works,

o) disconnection and reconnection of electrical energy, gasoline, water or drainage utilities the place that is necessitated by the related works, and

p) fee of contractors.

In a case the place the applying is for disabled services grant, the providers and expenses of an occupational therapist in relation to the related works are additionally specified for these functions.

Appendix B: The laws

B1. The first laws for the DFG is about out within the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (the 1996 Act). This appendix units out the laws to assist inform how an area authority makes selections on DFG purposes, together with figuring out:

  • The disabled occupant
  • The applicant
  • The eligible works
  • Quantity of grant
  • Grant situations

B2. As soon as a proper utility has been correctly submitted, the housing authority is beneath an obligation to think about it. An authority could be open to authorized problem in the event that they refuse to simply accept a sound utility or received’t present the required utility varieties.

B3. Native authorities can not make expenses for processing grant purposes or for responding to enquiries.

The disabled occupant

B4. A sound utility can solely be made by the proprietor or tenant (or occupant within the case of a houseboat or caravan) the place the disabled particular person lives or goes to reside – in lots of circumstances this won’t be the disabled particular person themself. Within the laws the disabled one that wants the variations is named ‘the disabled occupant’. In deciding whether or not the applying is on behalf of a disabled occupant, the native authority should contemplate if the supposed beneficiary meets the definition of a disabled particular person for the needs of the DFG, and the place they reside or intend to reside. Key issues are coated under.

A disabled particular person

B5. For the needs of a DFG utility an individual is disabled if:

  • their sight, listening to or speech is considerably impaired,
  • they’ve a psychological dysfunction or impairment of any sort,
  • they’re bodily considerably disabled by sickness, harm or impairment

B6. and an individual over 18 is taken to be disabled if:

The place the disabled particular person lives or intends to reside

B7. A DFG is obtainable to fund services for a disabled particular person residing or aspiring to reside in a:

  • dwelling, or
  • qualifying houseboat or caravan.

B8. A “dwelling” is outlined as a constructing or a part of a constructing (e.g. a flat) occupied or supposed to be occupied as a separate dwelling, along with any yard, backyard, outhouses, and appurtenances belonging to it or often loved with it. This contains dwellings the place somebody lives as a part of their employment, like a farm cottage or a flat over a store.

B9. A “caravan” as outlined by the Act means any construction designed or tailored for human habitation which is able to being moved from one place to a different (whether or not by being towed, or by being transported on a motorized vehicle or trailer) and any motorized vehicle so designed or tailored (excluding railway rolling inventory on rails and tents) and contains any yard, backyard, outhouses and appurtenances belonging to it or often loved with it.

B10. A “qualifying houseboat” is a ship “designed or tailored to be used as a spot of everlasting habitation”. It should have its solely or predominant mooring throughout the space of a single native housing authority, have the precise to be moored there and be registered for Council Tax.

B11. The place a couple of disabled particular person lives on the similar tackle, the housing authority can contemplate a number of purposes based mostly on their particular person wants. Nonetheless, the authority could be finest suggested to make use of its vast discretionary powers to make sure integration of the required works, having regard to the impacts on the disabled individuals.

Youngsters residing in joint residency preparations (beforehand ‘custody’)

B12. The place a disabled baby has dad and mom who’re separated and the kid lives for a part of the time with every dad or mum, a statutory DFG is just accessible on the tackle which is the principle residence of the disabled baby, often the house of the dad or mum in receipt of kid profit. Nonetheless, it’ll typically be in the most effective pursuits of the kid to supply variations at each areas. Authorities are inspired to make use of their discretionary powers in contemplating purposes to adapt the properties of disabled youngsters in these conditions to make sure that they will keep regular residing preparations.

Youngsters in foster care

B13. Youngsters and younger people who find themselves positioned in foster care have a variety of wants and are in numerous sorts of placements starting from short-term breaks to a long-term foster placement supposed to final till maturity. The social providers authority is answerable for assessing the kid’s wants and offering acceptable providers to fulfill these wants, which embrace providers to fulfill wants arising from incapacity. Youngsters and younger people who find themselves positioned in foster care ought to be positioned in housing suited to their particular person wants.

B14. Foster carers are eligible to use for a DFG on behalf of a foster baby, however provision could rely upon the kind and size of placement, together with consideration of the grant situation interval (see paras B34-B36). The applying could be made to the housing authority the place the foster carers reside, though it’s doubtless that the foster baby’s social providers authority would want to fund any works over the utmost grant restrict.

Who could make a DFG utility? (Who owns the property and when there’s a tenant)

B15. Solely sure individuals could make a sound utility – in lots of circumstances this won’t be the disabled particular person themself. The three questions for native authorities to know are:

  • Who could make an utility for a DFG?
  • Who has to signal the required certificates containing details about the longer term occupation of the property (“certificates of future occupation”); and
  • Who has to offer permission for the related works to go forward.

The applicant

B16. A sound utility will be made by:

  • somebody who has an proprietor’s curiosity within the property (both an owner-occupier or a landlord);
  • a tenant of a dwelling; or
  • the occupant of a caravan or qualifying houseboat.

B17. Beneath the Act, no grant is payable to the next:

  • Public our bodies reminiscent of a Native Authority or Scientific Commissioning Group
  • A “particular person from overseas”
  • Anybody beneath 18 years of age. (Purposes on behalf of kids or younger individuals aged 17 years and beneath have to be made by an acceptable grownup).

An utility from somebody with an proprietor’s curiosity [s21]

B18. An owner-occupier or landlord would often have to have, or
suggest to amass, an proprietor’s curiosity in all of the land the place variations must be made (nonetheless an exception to that is set out in The Housing Renewal Grants (Proprietor’s Curiosity) Instructions 1996). The proprietor’s utility have to be accompanied by an proprietor’s certificates in respect of the dwelling to which the applying relates, or within the case of a typical elements utility, in respect of every flat within the constructing occupied or proposed to be occupied by a disabled applicant which confirms that they:

  • have already got or suggest to amass an proprietor’s curiosity; and
  • intend that the disabled particular person will reside within the dwelling (or because the case could also be flat) as their solely or predominant residence for the grant situation interval (often 5 years) or for such shorter interval as their well being and different related circumstances allow.

B19. For a potential proprietor, they will make the applying earlier than they’ve acquired the property, however the utility can’t be accredited till they take possession.

B20. The place there may be a couple of proprietor, then any particular person with an proprietor’s curiosity could make a solo utility.

B21. There is no such thing as a particular requirement for the housing authority to acquire proof of possession aside from the proprietor’s certificates however it’s good observe to cross reference the small print with the Land Registry. There’s additionally no requirement for the housing authority to hunt permission from the applicant’s mortgage supplier or to make sure they’ve ample family insurance coverage, though they need to advise the applicant of the necessity to inform each.

B22. A leaseholder is classed as an proprietor if 5 years or extra stay on the time period of the lease.

B23. A freehold landlord may additionally make an utility because the proprietor of the dwelling.

A tenant’s utility [s22]

B24. The time period “tenant” contains:

  • a safe tenant, introductory tenant or statutory tenant;
  • a protected occupier beneath the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976 or an individual in occupation beneath an assured agricultural occupancy throughout the which means of Part I of the Housing Act 1988; or
  • an worker who occupies the dwelling as a part of their job

B25. A tenant’s utility have to be accompanied by a tenant’s certificates which confirms that they:

  • are making a tenant’s utility; and
  • intend that the disabled particular person will reside within the dwelling as their solely or predominant residence for the grant situation interval (often 5 years) or for such shorter interval as their well being and different related circumstances allow.

B26. All tenant’s purposes also needs to be accompanied by an proprietor’s certificates signed by the owner, until the native authority thinks it’s unreasonable to require such a certificates within the circumstances. This discretion could also be used the place the housing authority considers the owner is unreasonably withholding an proprietor’s certificates.

B27. Observe that even the place the tenant’s utility is entertained with out an proprietor’s certificates, a grant can not usually be awarded with out the owner’s permission to hold out the works. Nonetheless, an area authority can award a grant for works inside a disabled particular person’s house within the absence of a landlords’ permission, the place such permission has been unreasonably withheld, or the place the owner has hooked up unreasonable situations to the consent in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

B28. Beneath the Equality Act 2010 a landlord can not unreasonably withhold their consent to an adaptation or connect unreasonable situations to any consent. The place consent is refused, or situations hooked up, the burden is on the owner to indicate that their consent has not been unreasonably withheld to make variations (and the way straightforward it will be to undo them).

B29. If the owner’s consent is unreasonably withheld, or unreasonable situations have been hooked up it have to be taken that consent has been given. LAs must kind a view in every particular person case as to the difficulty of whether or not or not consent has been unreasonably withheld and what they need to do in such circumstances.

B30. These provisions don’t apply to a protected tenancy beneath section 1 of the Rent Act 1977 or a statutory tenancy beneath section 2 of that Act or a safe tenancy beneath the Housing Act 1985.

B31. Authorities is planning to carry laws into drive which might align the state of affairs for variations in frequent elements of residential buildings with this. Please see the frequent elements part under for extra element (B57 and B58).

A houseboat or caravan occupier’s utility (part 22A)

B32. An occupier’s utility have to be accompanied by a certificates which confirms that they:

  • are making an occupier’s utility; and
  • intend that the disabled particular person will reside within the dwelling as their solely or predominant residence for the grant situation interval (often 5 years) or for such shorter interval as their well being and different related circumstances allow.

B33. Except the native authority thinks it’s unreasonable to take action within the circumstances, all occupier’s purposes also needs to be accompanied by a consent certificates signed by house owners of the houseboat or mooring or the caravan or caravan park.

The grant situation interval and intention to reside

B34. The grant situation interval is often 5 years. Nonetheless, the intention required by an proprietor / tenant / occupier is for the disabled particular person to reside within the dwelling as their solely or predominant residence for that interval or for “such shorter interval as his well being and different related circumstances allow” (see section 21(2)(b), 22(2)(b) and 22A(2)(b)). So, prognosis of a deteriorating situation or doable imminent loss of life of the disabled particular person shouldn’t be a cause for withholding or delaying grant approval.

B35. Every certificates confirms the intention of the applicant on the time of the applying and as long as that was genuinely their intention, no compensation of grant is required if circumstances change and the disabled particular person can not occupy it as supposed. That is the case whether or not or not the prognosis was recognized to the disabled particular person, their household or carer on the time of utility.

B36. The grant situation interval begins on the date when the works are accomplished to the satisfaction of the housing authority (“the licensed date” (part 44)).

Properties held in belief

B37. These ought to be handled in the identical manner as purposes by proprietor‐occupiers, tenants or occupiers. Eligibility for the grant is more likely to rely upon the phrases of the person belief and authorities should contemplate any such utility on its deserves based mostly, as vital, on their very own authorized recommendation.

B38. A trustee or beneficiary making use of for a grant should be capable of fulfil all the traditional grant situations. So, for instance, the applicant should be capable of reveal a related curiosity within the property, both as an proprietor or a tenant, and to fulfill the related situations

Individuals from overseas

B39. The applicant can’t be a ‘particular person from overseas’ throughout the which means of regulation 10 of the Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 or because the case could also be regulation 10 of the Housing Benefit (Persons who have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit) Regulations 2006 (see regulation 3 of the Housing Renewal Grants Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/2890)).The authority can also be not allowed to pay a grant the place an individual who might have utilized for a grant is a “particular person from overseas”, though the applicant just isn’t a “particular person from overseas”.

B40. For injured or disabled service personnel who reside in Service Lodging and proceed to work within the Armed Forces, any variations for them or their dependents can be funded by the Ministry of Defence. Any purposes from injured or disabled personnel who reside in Service Lodging ought to be signposted to the Ministry of Defence.

B41. Native authorities may obtain purposes from serving Armed Forces personnel who reside in their very own lodging, on behalf of themselves or members of the family. Purposes may additionally be obtained from veterans of the Armed Forces. In these circumstances, the statutory Armed Forces Covenant Obligation is more likely to apply. Extra info can be offered within the Armed Forces Covenant Obligation statutory steering to be printed in 2022.

Psychological capability

B42. The place an authority thinks an applicant lacks capability to make a specific resolution or take a specific motion for themselves on the time the choice or motion must be taken, they need to observe the steering specified by the Code of Follow to the Psychological Capability Act 2005.

The eligible works

B43. The next steps ought to be adopted in sequence when deciding which variations are “eligible works” for grant help:

The needs

B45. The Act units out a variety of “functions” (section 23) for which a grant have to be accredited. The primary stage is to evaluate whether or not the disabled particular person wants variations to fulfill these “functions”.

Facilitating entry to the house and backyard

B46. There’s a have to take away or assist overcome any obstacles that are stopping the disabled particular person from shifting freely out and in of the property, together with frequent elements, in and across the backyard and any yard, outhouse or “different appurtenance” (e.g. a balcony or the land adjoining to the mooring of a qualifying houseboat).

B47. Entry may also embrace works exterior the traditional curtilage of the dwelling, reminiscent of a dropped kerb pavement crossing.

Making the premises safer

B48. There’s a have to make the house safer for the disabled particular person and different individuals residing with them. It’s not acceptable to be too prescriptive however the wants coated beneath this subsection may embrace conditions the place:

  • somebody with difficult behaviours is hurting themself, different individuals they reside with or damaging the property;
  • somebody with impaired imaginative and prescient can not safely navigate into and round their house or perform on a regular basis duties and actions;
  • somebody with impaired listening to can’t hear a normal smoke alarm; or
  • somebody with a bodily incapacity couldn’t safely escape within the occasion of a hearth.

Entry to the principal household room or bed room

B49. The disabled particular person is unable to entry a room appropriate to be used as a lounge or acquire entry to a room usable for sleeping. Or the place the disabled occupant shares a bed room with one other particular person, they can not entry a room of ample dimension in order that the traditional sleeping preparations will be maintained.

Entry to a bathroom

B50. The disabled particular person can not entry a room with a bathroom or can not use the prevailing rest room.

Entry to a shower or bathe

B51. The disabled particular person can not entry a room with a shower and/or a bathe or can not use the prevailing bathtub and/or bathe. In circumstances the place the disabled particular person wants entry to a shower and a bathe they would want to reveal a medical want for each.

Entry to a wash hand basin

B52. The disabled particular person can not entry a room with a wash hand basin or can not use the prevailing wash hand basin.

Facilitating the preparation and cooking of meals

B53. The disabled particular person can not entry or doesn’t have appropriate services to arrange and prepare dinner meals for themselves and others residing with them.

Higher heating

B54. Folks with restricted mobility who stay in a single room for lengthy intervals often want a hotter house than able-bodied individuals.

Management of energy, mild and warmth

B55. The disabled particular person can not function the controls for energy, mild or heating of their house.

Caring for others

B56. The disabled particular person can not transfer across the house to care for one more one that usually lives there, whether or not they’re associated to the disabled particular person. This will likely embrace a partner, accomplice or member of the family, one other disabled particular person or a toddler. Importantly the dependent being cared for needn’t be disabled.

Frequent elements

B57. An utility will be made to fund variations to the frequent elements of buildings containing a number of flats. This may embrace the construction and exterior of the constructing, routine elements of the constructing such because the entrance door and paths, in addition to frequent inside areas of the constructing together with emergency/hearth exits, stairwells and passageways.

B58. The federal government intends to begin the rest of section 36 of the Equality Act 2010 in England and Wales which would require landlords to make cheap changes to the frequent elements of leasehold and commonhold properties, together with hallways, entrances and stairs. A session is deliberate for 2022.

The related works

B59. The needs cowl a variety of potential variations to cowl most circumstances and to fulfill the variation wants of disabled individuals whose wants are much less apparent, reminiscent of these with a sight or listening to impairment or a studying incapacity. If a number of functions have been recognized, the subsequent step is to think about the proposed variations (the related works) to fulfill these functions. For instance:

  • a ramp may very well be the related works to fulfill the aim of facilitating entry to the house
  • a stairlift may very well be the related works to fulfill the aim of accessing a room usable for sleeping.

B60. For every of the related works the housing authority should contemplate whether or not a grant ought to be awarded by deciding if they’re “vital & acceptable” (see paras B61-B68) and “cheap & practicable” (see para B84-B86).

Vital and acceptable

B61. The housing authority have to be glad that the related works are vital and acceptable to fulfill the wants of the disabled particular person (section 24(3)(a)). For district councils this should embrace consulting the social providers authority.

B62. DFGs are designed to offer disabled individuals a level of independence within the house and may goal to fulfill present and anticipated future wants. If the disabled particular person has care wants, the affect of variations on the extent of this care ought to be thought-about together with whether or not duties can be diminished or eased. Adaptation works won’t obtain their goal if the disabled particular person doesn’t acquire a suitable diploma of independence, or the place the disabled particular person stays dependent upon the care of others and the variation doesn’t considerably ease the burden of the carer.

B63. The obligation to seek the advice of the social providers authority relates solely to the query of “vital and acceptable”. There is no such thing as a particular requirement on how the session ought to be performed. It’s for social providers authorities to determine in every case who ought to reply to the session and be concerned in any assessments. Nonetheless, the housing authority at all times makes the ultimate resolution on what will be funded by the DFG.

B64. Many housing authorities now make use of their very own occupational therapists and trusted assessors. Additionally it is doable to incorporate the prices of an evaluation carried out by a non-public occupational therapist as one of many eligible providers and expenses in a grant utility. Nonetheless, it stays necessary to keep up shut collaboration with the social providers authority to make sure an built-in strategy to assembly the wants of the disabled particular person and the obligation to seek the advice of nonetheless stays.

B65. To scale back the danger of putting in inappropriate variations and to make sure consistency of observe, this steering supplies a set of written rules to help professionals concerned within the advanced means of figuring out what works are vital and acceptable (see 4.44).

B66. In all circumstances the evaluation of whether or not related works are vital and acceptable have to be made in opposition to every relevant goal individually. So, for instance, if it’s not doable to appropriately present entry to a room appropriate for sleeping, that ought to not in itself forestall a grant being awarded to achieve entry to the house.

B67. The place the disabled particular person has a restricted life expectancy then it could be acceptable to think about funding variations that may be extra simply eliminated when they’re not required if that’s thought-about the precise strategy within the circumstances.

B68. There can be events when the necessity to tackle a number of functions is considerably extra pressing than others. In these circumstances authorities ought to contemplate the advantages of continuing with assessing the pressing works if there could be undue delay in assessing for all.

Facilitating entry to the house and backyard

B69. Entry to the backyard ought to permit the disabled particular person to entry their house or backyard for drying garments, taking part in or supervising play and gardening.

Making the premises safer

B70. There are a variety of choices that may very well be thought-about related works to make a house safer, each for the disabled particular person and different individuals residing with them. They may embrace, for instance:

  • for these with listening to difficulties, an enhanced alarm system to supply improved security for the disabled occupant when cooking, or services to supply technique of escape from hearth;
  • variations designed to minimise the danger of hazard the place a disabled particular person has behavioural issues which trigger them to behave often or frequently in a boisterous or violent method damaging the home, themself and maybe different individuals;
  • the availability of specialized lighting, toughened or shatterproof glass in sure elements of the dwelling to which the disabled particular person has regular entry or the set up of guards round sure services reminiscent of fires or radiators to stop the disabled particular person harming themself;
  • the reinforcement of flooring, partitions or ceilings; or
  • cladding of uncovered surfaces and corners to stop self-injury

Entry to the principal household room

B71. Entry to the principal household room ought to permit the disabled particular person to socialize with their household or others that they reside with.

Entry to a room usable for sleeping

B72. In some circumstances a lounge could also be massive sufficient to partition off a second room for sleeping, in smaller properties this won’t be doable. The supply of a brand new room usable for sleeping ought to solely be undertaken if the authority is glad that the variation of an present room within the dwelling (upstairs or downstairs) or the entry to that room is unsuitable within the specific circumstances. The place the disabled occupant shares a bed room with one other particular person, grant could also be given to supply a room of ample dimension in order that the traditional sleeping preparations will be maintained. In contemplating whether or not an present room may very well be used for sleeping, the non secular and cultural beliefs of the family ought to be considered.

B73. Overcrowding in itself just isn’t a sound cause to refuse a grant, however it will not usually be vital and acceptable to supply a brand new room if different bedrooms are accessible however occupied. Nonetheless, the place an extra bed room would make the premises safer for the disabled particular person or others residing with them, then offering a brand new room may very well be thought-about beneath that goal. For instance, the place 2 siblings at the moment share a room however one is a danger to the opposite as a result of behaviours that problem.

Entry to a bathroom, bathtub, bathe or wash hand basin

B74. Entry to rest room, washing, bathing and showering services are listed individually to make clear {that a} disabled particular person ought to have entry to a bathroom wash hand basin and a bathe or bathtub (or if extra acceptable, each a bathe and a shower). The supply of services for ‘strip washing’ just isn’t a suitable different to an acceptable rest room. It could be acceptable in some circumstances to resort to this as a brief time period interim answer, and a disabled particular person could train the selection to strip wash reasonably than use an accessible bathtub or bathe provision, however it’s not thought-about a “vital and acceptable” answer. For probably the most advanced wants specialist gear reminiscent of a wash/dry rest room, rise and fall bathtub or peak adjustable basin could also be required.

Preparation and cooking of meals

B75. The related works to allow a disabled particular person to cater independently might cowl a variety of potential variations. Eligible works embrace the rearrangement or enlargement of a kitchen to ease manoeuvrability of a wheelchair and specifically modified or designed storage models, gasoline, electrical energy and plumbing installations to allow the disabled particular person to make use of these services independently.

B76. The place a lot of the cooking and preparation of meals is completed by one other family member, it will not usually be acceptable to hold out full variations to the kitchen. Nonetheless, it could be acceptable that sure variations be carried out to allow the disabled particular person to carry out sure capabilities within the kitchen, reminiscent of getting ready mild meals or sizzling drinks.

B77. It is necessary that any evaluation ought to recognise a disabled baby’s altering developmental want and his or her progress in the direction of most independence. Additionally it is necessary that the evaluation considers the necessity for the disabled baby to have the ability to take part in all elements of household life, for instance, in making certain that eating area is obtainable to allow all family members to eat collectively.

Higher heating

B78. The place there is no such thing as a heating system or the place the prevailing heating preparations are unsuitable to fulfill the wants of the disabled particular person, a heating system could also be offered. Nonetheless, DFG shouldn’t be given to adapt or set up heating in rooms which aren’t usually utilized by the disabled particular person. The set up of central heating to the house ought to solely be thought-about the place the wellbeing and mobility of the disabled particular person would in any other case be adversely affected.

B79. Air con or different cooling programs may be thought-about the place warmth publicity may cause or heighten fatigue, numbness, blurry imaginative and prescient, tremors, confusion, imbalance, and weak spot as related to situations reminiscent of A number of Sclerosis.

Management of energy, mild and warmth

B80. Related works might embrace the relocation of energy factors to make them extra accessible, the availability of suitably tailored controls the place a disabled particular person has problem in utilizing regular kinds of controls and the set up of further controls. Sensible house expertise might present different controls by utilizing an app or by voice management.

Caring for others

B81. The related works might embrace variations to part of the house to which the disabled particular person wouldn’t usually want entry however which is utilized by an individual they’re caring for and subsequently it’s cheap for such works to be carried out. This might embrace offering dad and mom with entry to their baby’s bed room.
Essentially the most cost-effective choice

B82. Authorities ought to be aware of attaining finest worth for cash. The place there are potential different choices for the related works that might meet the required functions, then the authority would often select the decrease value choice. For instance, the place the aim is to supply entry to a room appropriate for sleeping, then a stairlift or utilising an present floor flooring room are more likely to be most well-liked over constructing a brand new bed room.

B83. There can be some circumstances the place the disabled particular person and the applicant elect for the next value choice. The housing authority will nonetheless want to make sure that the works meet the required functions and are vital and acceptable, however the estimated expense would nonetheless be based mostly on the decrease value choice.

Affordable and practicable

B84. The place the related works have been judged to be vital and acceptable, the housing authority then has to think about whether or not it’s cheap and practicable to hold out the works having “regard to the age and situation” of the property. The explanation for this check is that it will not be a great use of sources to award a DFG to adapt an outdated, run-down constructing.

B85. Every utility ought to be thought-about by itself deserves however the place a house is in critical disrepair or past financial restore then a housing authority could contemplate that the related works aren’t cheap and practicable. In these circumstances, it will be good observe for native authorities to supply info and recommendation to the applicant on their housing choices.

B86. Different points, reminiscent of whether or not the property is in any other case appropriate for the disabled particular person aren’t related issues.

Quantity of grant

B87. Housing authorities ought to contemplate the next when they’re figuring out the quantity of grant:

  • the price of finishing up the eligible works together with the price of related providers and expenses – the “estimated expense”; and
  • the quantity of grant they’ll pay, taking into consideration the estimated expense, the means check and the utmost quantity of grant.

B88. In England the utmost entitlement of grant beneath the DFG is at the moment set at £30,000 per applicant, and authorities aren’t required to supply further prices over this most however can high up grants, as agreed regionally and set out of their native Housing Help Coverage. For extra advanced house variations, together with these involving purposes for bespoke extensions to present dwellings, these can considerably exceed the higher restrict in some circumstances.

B89. The place an authority has a regionally printed Housing Help Coverage beneath the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) (2002), authorities do have discretion to high up quantities above the DFG £30,000 restrict per applicant. The place an authority has not used this discretion inside their coverage they’ll nonetheless want to offer due consideration to distinctive circumstances. A call to award DFG grant above the prevailing £30,000 restrict per applicant can be an area one, and ought to be rigorously thought-about on a case-by-case foundation, taking into consideration the affect that rejecting it could have on the flexibility for the applicant to proceed with out the extra funding in place.

Estimates for the price of the eligible works

B90. Grant purposes are usually required to incorporate at the least 2 estimates from completely different contractors for the prices of the related (proposed)works. Authorities wouldn’t be anticipated to require greater than 2 estimates aside from in distinctive circumstances, for instance, the place the related works are very in depth and costly. Within the uncommon circumstances the place the eligible works (see para B43 -B44) are completely different to the related works, the authority will want ample info to estimate the price of the eligible works. For instance, if an utility had proposed a bed room extension because the related works, however the authority decides {that a} stairlift to achieve entry to a bed room are the eligible works, the authority might use estimates of the price of an appropriate stairlift from different purposes to estimate the price of the eligible works.

B91. When assessing estimates submitted, authorities should guarantee there may be real and full competitors. Authorities ought to search to acquire the most effective bundle accessible, taking into consideration the next related issues when coming to a judgement:

  • value;
  • the repute of the contractor;
  • their means to hold out the works to a great normal and in good time; and
  • their VAT registration.

B92. Housing authorities have discretion to require just one estimate in any specific case. Housing authorities ought to contemplate when to use this discretion. Conditions the place this can be acceptable embrace the place:

  • the related works are both small or very specialised;
  • there’s a recognized problem to find contractors prepared to undertake specific varieties of labor; or
  • the place the estimate has been produced utilizing a schedule of charges or framework settlement accredited by the authority.

B93. With out an accredited schedule of charges or framework the discretion to require just one estimate ought to be used sparingly.

B94. On condition that the contract for finishing up the works can be between the applicant and the contractor, public procurement guidelines don’t apply.

B95. Most adaptation work is zero rated for VAT however the place the related works are taxable at the usual fee of VAT this ought to be included throughout the estimated expense. To deal with competing estimates equally, authorities ought to keep in mind that contractors who cost VAT might be able to get well VAT they pay, whereas contractors who aren’t registered for VAT are nonetheless required to pay VAT on supplies and have to soak up these prices.

Different providers and expenses

B96. The Act permits the price of sure providers and expenses to be included with the grant utility reminiscent of prices related to getting ready the applying and the finishing up of works:

  • confirming that the applicant has an proprietor’s curiosity;
  • technical and structural surveys;
  • the design and preparation of plans and drawings;
  • the preparation of specs or schedules of related works;
  • help in finishing varieties;
  • recommendation on financing the prices of the related works which aren’t met by grant;
  • making purposes for constructing rules approval (together with any utility payment and the preparation of associated paperwork);
  • making purposes for planning permission (together with any utility payment and the preparation of associated paperwork);
  • making purposes for listed constructing consent (together with any utility payment and the preparation of associated paperwork);
  • making purposes for conservation space consent (together with any utility payment and the preparation of associated paperwork);
  • acquiring tenders/estimates;
  • offering recommendation on constructing contracts;
  • contemplating tenders;
  • supervising the related works;
  • disconnecting and reconnecting electrical energy, gasoline, water or drainage utilities the place that is necessitated by the related works; and
  • paying contractors.

B97. The providers and expenses of a non-public occupational therapist in relation to the related works may also be included. The federal government funding for Disabled Amenities Grant is capital expenditure, and may solely be spent on capital objects. Appendix A: Identifying capital expenditure for DFG purposes provides extra element on the place works and providers may very well be thought-about as capital expenditure and funded as a part of a DFG.

The means check

B98. The DFG means check is in place to make sure that DFG funding reaches these people who find themselves on the bottom incomes and least capable of afford to pay for the variations themselves. Means testing applies to purposes made by owner-occupiers, tenants and occupants of a qualifying houseboat or caravan. Completely different guidelines apply the place the applying is made by a landlord (see para B108).

B99. The assumed weekly wants of the family (the “relevant quantity”) is calculated taking into consideration the variety of individuals, their ages and different circumstances. That is then in comparison with precise revenue, and the place revenue is larger than the relevant quantity, a “mortgage era issue” is utilized to the “extra revenue” to reach at a notional “inexpensive mortgage”.

B100. That is the quantity by which the grant is diminished, or the contribution anticipated from the applicant. The discount in grant brought on by this check is decrease for tenants as a result of it’s assumed that loans can be accessible on much less beneficial phrases than proprietor occupiers.

Contribution = (precise revenue – relevant quantity) x mortgage era issue.

B101. It’s the revenue of the disabled particular person, and the place relevant their accomplice, that’s taken into consideration – reasonably than the applicant if that may be a completely different particular person. Within the rules that is the “related particular person”.

B102. For somebody with variable revenue, authorities can calculate common weekly earnings over a consultant interval of as much as a yr that displays the present state of affairs. For instance, the common weekly revenue of a related particular person at the moment in secure employment shouldn’t be diluted by together with any earlier intervals of unemployment. Equally, the place a related particular person has not too long ago been made redundant, it will not be acceptable to incorporate intervals of employment of their evaluation of revenue.

B103. The ultimate contribution ought to be calculated instantly prior to creating the formal utility. See Chapter 4: 4.31 for steering on offering preliminary calculations earlier within the course of.

Exemptions to the means check

B104. The place the disabled particular person is a toddler or younger particular person or is in receipt of one of many following income-related advantages, then the authority should assume that their revenue just isn’t larger than the relevant quantity:

  • Revenue Help;
  • Housing Profit;
  • Common Credit score;
  • Assured Pension Credit score;
  • Revenue-Primarily based Job-Seekers Allowance;
  • Working Tax Credit score with an annual revenue of lower than £15,050;
  • Little one Tax Credit score with an annual revenue of lower than £15,050; and
  • Revenue Associated Employment and Help Allowance.

In impact which means that they’re exempt from means testing and the quantity of their grant just isn’t diminished – i.e. they don’t have an assessed contribution.

B105. Normally the authority could make selections about whether or not a toddler is to be handled as a toddler of the household by following selections made about Little one Profit.

B106. A toddler is an individual beneath 16. The definition of a “younger particular person” follows the definition of a qualifying younger particular person for baby profit functions. This refers to younger people who find themselves 16 or over however beneath 20 and receiving full-time training as much as and together with A stage. The course should final greater than 12 hours every week not counting homework and meal breaks. The definition excludes sure younger individuals beneath the age of 20 reminiscent of these claiming sure advantages in their very own proper. A neighborhood authority could make selections about who’s a qualifying younger particular person by following selections made about Little one Profit.

B107. A neighborhood authority can use its discretionary powers to waive the means check altogether in some circumstances in the event that they really feel the applicant would face extreme monetary hardship if required to pay for everything of the variations (see Chapter 3).

Quantity of grant for a landlord’s purposes

B108. Landlord’s purposes aren’t means examined by the housing authority. When deciding the quantity of grant to award, the authority ought to keep in mind the extent to which the owner is ready to cost the next hire for the premises due to the works. Any related issues from a Housing Help Coverage may also be thought-about (see Chapter 3).

B109. The authority could, in the event that they assume it acceptable, search and act upon the recommendation of hire officers.

Most quantity of grant

B110. The utmost quantity of grant that may be awarded for any single utility is at the moment £30,000. (Observe that authorities do have discretion to award greater quantities – see Chapter 3:)

B111. The place the price of the eligible works (together with related providers and expenses) is over £30,000, any assessed contribution from the imply check is deducted from the utmost quantity, not the price of the works.

Instance A Instance B
Price of the eligible works £35,000 £25,000
Price of providers and expenses £3,500 £2,500
Complete estimated expense £38,500 £27,500
Most quantity of grant £30,000 n/a
Much less the contribution from the means check £10,000 £5,000
Quantity of grant £20,000 £22,500

Successive purposes and nil grants

B112. For individuals with degenerative situations, additional variations could grow to be vital at a later date. There is no such thing as a restriction on successive purposes for DFG on the identical property. In such circumstances, any earlier contributions can be taken into consideration – within the final 5 years for tenants and 10 years for house owners. Any new assessed contribution can be diminished by any beforehand assessed contribution if the applicant went forward with the earlier variations.

B113. Which means if a brand new utility is made inside 5 or 10 years (relying on whether or not the applicant is a tenant or proprietor) of finishing the earlier adaptation works, the brand new contribution can be diminished by the quantity that they’ve already paid. For instance, if the applicant paid a £7,000 contribution in the direction of the earlier variations, and the brand new means check reveals a contribution of £8,000, this can be diminished to a contribution by the applicant on the second DFG of £1,000.

B114. Native authorities ought to inform candidates when it could be of their finest pursuits to proceed with an utility even the place it’s clear that their contribution will exceed the prices of the work. Though it will result in the approval of a ‘nil grant’ candidates ought to be conscious that in a subsequent utility their contribution could also be diminished. The place an area authority approves a 0 grant they need to nonetheless be certain that the works are accomplished to a passable normal.

The approval

B115. The authority should notify an applicant as quickly as fairly practicable and never later than 6 months after the date of the applying, whether or not an utility is accredited or refused (section 34). The place an authority or house enchancment company has helped to arrange the applying, the approval course of wouldn’t be anticipated to take longer than 4 weeks.

B116. The authority could approve an utility on the premise that the grant, or a part of the grant, won’t be paid earlier than a date specified within the notification (section 36).This date should not be later than 12 months after the date of the applying. The aim of the availability is to supply authorities with discretion to delay fee of a grant for as much as 12 months. It is just for use in distinctive circumstances the place there was an unusually excessive variety of purposes obtained and approving all of them throughout the statutory 6 months required by (section 34) would create critical useful resource issues for the authority in the direction of the top of a monetary yr.

B117. The powers beneath (section 36) ought to be used sparingly and never the place it will trigger hardship or struggling to an applicant whose adaptation wants have been assessed as pressing, for instance the place a disabled particular person can be leaving hospital or residential care to return house or to maneuver into a brand new dwelling. Additionally it is more likely to be inappropriate to make use of the (section 36) energy the place the long-term prices of doing so could be disproportionate to the short-term financial savings.

B118. The DFG is a compulsory grant and the refusal to simply accept purposes as a result of an absence of sources is illegal.

B119. A grant can’t be accredited if the works have already began (section 29) – until there’s a good cause why. A grant can’t be accredited if the works have already been accomplished. Authorities ought to make this clear of their utility varieties, leaflets and on their web site.

B120. The grant approval discover has to listing the eligible works and the estimate of the expense of the eligible works and price of any providers and expenses (and the way these quantities have been calculated) and the quantity of grant. These will be revised if circumstances change, like unexpected works or the place pressing works must be accomplished upfront of different measures.

B121. The place a grant is refused, the authority should element the the reason why.

Grant situations

B122. All situations ought to be defined to the applicant prior to creating the applying and detailed as a part of the grant approval documentation.

Prices on properties

B123. The Disabled Amenities Grant (Situation regarding approval or fee of grant) Normal Consent 2008 provides housing authorities the discretion to impose an area land cost on a dwelling, whether it is offered or in any other case disposed of inside 10 years of the licensed date. The cost can solely be positioned on proprietor’s purposes the place the quantity of grant exceeds £5,000. The utmost cost is £10,000.

B124. If a dwelling is offered or disposed of inside 10 years, the housing authority should contemplate whether or not or not it’s cheap to demand compensation or half compensation of the cost taking into consideration:

  • the monetary hardship it will trigger;
  • whether or not the sale is because of an employment associated relocation;
  • whether or not the sale is related with the bodily or psychological well being or well-being of the grant recipient or of a disabled occupant of the premises; and
  • whether or not the sale will allow the recipient of the grant to supply care to a disabled particular person.

B125. Each housing authority ought to have a coverage on whether or not it’ll place expenses and the way it will use its discretion on compensation (see Chapter 3). If a grant is initially awarded for an quantity of lower than £5,000 the applicant have to be consulted earlier than the grant is revised if it will lead to a cost being positioned.

Restoration of apparatus

B126. The Housing Renewal Grants (Extra Situations) (England) Normal Consent 1996 permits authorities to incorporate a situation that specialist gear, reminiscent of a stairlift, could also be recovered the place it’s not required. The place it’s clear that the gear won’t be reused due to age or situation, an area authority could determine to waive this proper to restoration.

Nomination rights

B127. The place a landlord makes the applying, The Housing Renewal Grants (Extra Situations) (England) Normal Consent 1996 additionally entitles authorities to incorporate a situation permitting them to appoint tenants to the property all through the grant situation interval. Which means a landlord would want to agree that if (and each time that) the property turns into vacant between that approval date and the top of the grant situation interval, they’ll maintain it for letting by individuals nominated by the authority for an affordable interval of as much as 4 weeks.

Funds

B128. Except the housing authority is finishing up the works straight (section 57), then the contractual relationship for finishing up the works can be between the applicant and the contractor. then the contractual relationship for finishing up the works can be between the applicant and the contractor. The authority might want to contemplate the phrases of that contract when making any funds. Native authorities ought to clearly clarify to candidates on the outset that any outlay an applicant makes with out all acceptable approvals and confirmations from the authority is totally at their very own danger.

B129. The grant can both be paid in instalments because the work progresses or in full on completion (section 35). If paying by instalments, not more than 90% of the grant will be paid earlier than the works are accomplished. The housing authority may also specify how the works ought to be carried out (section 37) and can solely make a fee in the event that they’re glad with the works and obtain a suitable bill.

B130. An bill for finishing up the works can’t be accepted from the applicant or members of their household (section 37(4)). Permitting works to be carried out by members of the applicant’s household might present worth for cash, however there may be additionally the potential for collusion and fraud. It could be acceptable to pay invoices for the prices of supplies from a 3rd social gathering the place the applicant or their member of the family supplies the labour totally free.

B131. The works have to be accomplished inside 12 months of the approval date (section 37) (or the deferred date beneath (section 36) – however this may be prolonged with the authority’s settlement.

B132. The works ought to be performed by a contractor who offered one of many estimates for the applying (section 38) – until the authority agrees in any other case.

B133. The authority will often pay the grant on to the contractor (section 39). As a way to do that the authority should inform the applicant earlier than the applying is accredited. Acknowledgement would usually be obtained as a part of the applying course of. The place each the authority and the applicant are glad with the works this could trigger no issues. Nonetheless, there could also be difficulties the place there’s a distinction of opinion.

B134. If the applicant is glad however the housing authority just isn’t, the grant should not be paid till the defects are remedied to the authority’s satisfaction. If the housing authority is glad however the applicant just isn’t, the authority ought to guarantee – within the mild of the applicant’s expressed issues – that they’ve arrived correctly at their judgement beneath (section 37(4)(a)) earlier than making a fee.

B135. In conditions the place the eligible works are accomplished to the satisfaction of the housing authority however the applicant just isn’t totally glad with these works, authorities have the facility (section 39(2)) to withhold fee to the contractor on the applicant’s request, ought to they contemplate it acceptable. In these circumstances they might make fee to the applicant as a substitute. Care must be exercised when paying contractors straight the place the authority just isn’t assembly all the price of the works to make sure that all commitments have been met beneath the constructing works contract.

Adjustments in circumstances

B136. When after approval however earlier than the works are completed, the applicant stops being eligible for the grant (e.g. they promote, or intend to promote the property) then the authority received’t make any additional funds and may demand repayments (section 40). If the disabled particular person dies, strikes, or the works grow to be unsuitable to fulfill their wants, then the authority might want to contemplate whether or not any extra funds will be made, and the authority are capable of demand repayments if that is thought-about acceptable (section 41).

B137. If the disabled particular person dies after approval, however earlier than the works are accomplished, the authority can nonetheless pay for some or all the works together with any charges or expenses (section 56). The authority can refuse to pay, cut back the grant and even demand repayments, if after approval they uncover that:

  • the applying was incorrect; or
  • works have been began earlier than the approval date; or
  • works weren’t accomplished inside 12 months of the approval date; or
  • the eligible works value lower than anticipated; or
  • the works have been performed by a distinct contractor

B138. A housing authority could impose a situation requiring the applicant to take cheap steps to pursue a authorized declare for damages during which the price of works to the premises to which the grant relates is a part of the declare (section 51). The Housing Renewal Most important Grants (Restoration of Compensation) Normal Consent 1996 permits authorities to use this situation in relation to claims for private accidents in respect of works required beneath a DFG.

B139. This could sometimes be utilized in circumstances the place there may very well be an pressing want for works to be undertaken to fulfill the wants of a disabled particular person and that grant help may very well be sought. Nonetheless, in some circumstances the price of the works could also be coated both by an insurance coverage fee or a declare in opposition to a 3rd social gathering. It could be acceptable for the authority to offer grant help to make sure the works are accomplished on the earliest alternative. Nonetheless, the place subsequently the grant applicant receives a fee on an insurance coverage or damages declare in respect of the grant aided works then they need to repay to the authority the grant, as far as is suitable, out of the proceeds of any declare.

B140. Claims in such circumstances can take a very long time, so there wouldn’t often be a time restrict on this situation for the restoration of grant the place compensation has subsequently been paid. A housing authority has the discretion (section 51(4)) to not demand compensation or to demand a lesser quantity the place that is acceptable. In working this discretion the authority ought to totally contemplate the phrases of any settlement obtained by the grant applicant.

B141. The place insurance coverage claims have been made and fee obtained upfront of grant purposes an area authority might want to take a view as as to whether it will be an acceptable use of sources to offer grant help. If the native authority decides to proceed in approving the applying, particulars of the insurance coverage funds ought to be included within the grant utility kind.

Appendix C: Instructions and consents

Among the Instructions and Consents beforehand issued for the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 aren’t accessible to view elsewhere. They’re collated right here for reference.

The Housing Renewal Grants (Proprietor’s Curiosity) Instructions 1996

The Secretary of State for the Atmosphere, in train of the powers conferred on him by sections 7(3), 19(3), 25(2) and 146 of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 and of all different powers enabling him in that behalf, hereby provides the next instructions:

Quotation and graduation

1. These instructions could also be cited because the Housing Renewal Grants (Proprietor’s Curiosity) Instructions 1996 and shall come into drive on 17 December 1996.

Proprietor’s curiosity situation

2.

(1) A neighborhood housing authority could deal with the situation in sections 7(1)(a), 19(1)(a) and 25(1) of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 as fulfilled by an individual who has, or proposes to amass, an proprietor’s curiosity in solely a part of the land to which an utility for a grant relates if

(a) the related works embrace specified works that are to be carried out (in complete or partially) on land which isn’t the applicant’s land; and

(b) the applicant has the facility to hold out the works.

(2) In sub-paragraph (1) “specified works” means –

(a) works to attach the applicant’s land with a gasoline, electrical energy, water or drainage utility on the nearest practicable level in order to supply to the applicant’s land-

(i) ample lighting;

(ii) ample heating;

(iii) an ample piped provide of healthful water; or

(iv) an efficient system for draining of foul, waste or floor water;

(b) works described in part 23(1)(a) of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996; or

(c) works to restore or substitute (in complete or partially) any of the works described in paragraph (a) or (b).

(3) In sub-paragraph (2) “applicant’s land” means land during which the applicant has, or proposes to amass, an proprietor’s curiosity.

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3. These instructions –

(a) shall apply to native housing authorities in England solely; and

(b) shall not apply in a case the place the applying for a grant was made earlier than the date on which these instructions come into drive.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State

C L L Braun
Assistant Secretary. Division of the Atmosphere
2 December 1996

The Secretary of State for the Atmosphere, as respects England, in train of the powers conferred on him by sections 52 and 94 of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996(1), hereby provides the next Consent:-

Quotation, graduation and interpretation

1.

(1) This specification could also be cited because the Housing Renewal Grants (Extra Situations) (England) Normal Consent 1996 and shall come into drive on 17 December 1996.

(2) On this Consent,-

“the Act” means the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996;

“authority” means an area housing authority;

“applicant”, with out extra, means an applicant for a grant beneath Chapter I of Half I of the Act (personal sector housing renewal: predominant grants) and contains any one that is in the intervening time an proprietor of the property;
“the property” means the dwelling, home or constructing which is grant-aided.

Extra situations

2. The place an authority approves an utility for a grant beneath Chapter I of Half I of the Act, they might impose such of the situations set out in paragraphs 3 to 7 as seem to them acceptable.

Discover of related disposal

3.

(1) The applicant shall forthwith notify the authority of his intention to make a related disposal of any dwelling, constructing or home in a number of occupation with respect to which there’s in drive, as a grant situation, any situation beneath sections 45 to 52 of the Act and shall furnish to the authority any info fairly requested by them in reference to such notification.

(2) This situation shall have impact throughout the grant situation interval.
Nomination of tenants to the property

4.

(1) Within the case of an utility to which any of paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of part 31(1) of the Act (dedication of quantity of grant in case of landlord’s utility for renovation grant, disabled services grant or HMO grant) applies, the authority shall be entitled to appoint tenants to the property (or a related a part of the property) all through the grant situation interval.

(2) The applicant agrees to not supply the property (or a related a part of the property) for let-ting, and the authority agrees to not make nominations to it, in such method (together with as to timing and the phrases of any supply or nomination) as would forestall this situation being, or persevering with to be, operable pretty and fairly.

(3) With out prejudice to the generality of sub-paragraph (2), the applicant agrees-

(a) if the property (or a part of it) is or turns into vacant on the date of approval of the applying, or

(b) if (and each time that) the property (or a part of it) turns into vacant between that date and the top of the grant situation interval,

forthwith to carry the property (or the vacant a part of it) accessible for letting by individuals nominated by the authority and to inform the authority of its availability for that goal and of the phrases upon which it’s so accessible.

(4) Topic to the applicant’s strict compliance with sub-paragraph (3), this situation shall not have impact whereas the property (or every of its a number of elements) is occupied beneath a tenancy or tenancies satisfying the necessities of such certificates of supposed letting, proprietor’s certificates or certificates of future occupation as was submitted with the applying (or, in a case the place the requirement for such certificates was waived by the authority, would meet that certificates’s necessities had one been so submitted).

(5) The place the authority approves a conversion utility for a renovation grant, they might apply this situation to a number of solely, or to a proportion, of the overall variety of dwellings to be offered by the conversion; offered that the dwellings, or the proportion of dwellings, in the home or different constructing and to which this situation is to use shall be recognized to the applicant in writing when the applying is accredited.

(6) The place the authority approve a landlord’s utility for a disabled services grant for variations to the frequent elements of a constructing containing a number of flats, and the applying is for the good thing about a couple of flat within the constructing, they might apply this situation to a number of solely, or to a proportion, of the flats which the applying is meant to profit; offered that the flats, or the proportion of the flats, to which this situation is to use shall be recognized to the applicant in writing when the applying is accredited.

(7) On this situation,-

“a related a part of the property” means part of the property which is or turns into vacant as described in sub-paragraph (3);

“tenancy” features a licence association satisfying the certificates of supposed letting, proprietor’s certificates or certificates of future occupation in query, and associated expressions shall be construed accordingly.

Restoration of specialized gear for the disabled

5.

(1) The place an utility for disabled services grant has been accredited beneath part 23(1) or (2) (disabled services grant: functions for which grant should or could also be given) and the eligible works include or embrace the set up within the property of specialized gear for the disabled occupant(s), the applicant shall notify the authority if and as quickly because the gear is not wanted.

(2) For the needs of this condition-

(a) the authority shall, on approving the applying, specify in writing the gear to which this situation is to use and the interval (being an affordable situation interval for the gear in query) throughout which it’s to use, and shall serve on the applicant a replica of such written specification; and

(b) the authority, or the social providers authority on their behalf, shall be entitled, upon cheap prior written discover given to the applicant both following the giving of the notification beneath sub-paragraph (1) or at any time throughout the situation interval specified beneath paragraph (a), to examine the gear and, topic to complying with sub-paragraph (3), to take away it.

(3) The authority agrees, inside an affordable time following an inspection of the gear,-

(a) to inform the applicant in writing whether or not the gear is to be eliminated; and

(b) if the gear is to be eliminated, to take away it or prepare for it to be eliminated and forthwith to make good any injury prompted to the property (whether or not by the authority themselves or the social providers authority) by its removing.

(4) The authority additional agrees, the place the applicant has contributed to the price of finishing up the eligible works, to pay to him, inside an affordable time of the removing of the gear, the cheap present worth of that proportion of its authentic value which represents the proportion of his contribution to the price of finishing up the eligible works.

(5) For the needs of sub-paragraph (4), the cheap present worth of the gear shall be its worth on the time of removing from the property.

(6) Topic to the authority giving prior written discover in accordance with sub-paragraph (2)(b) or, because the case could also be, (3)(a), the applicant agrees to afford, or to make use of his finest endeavours to rearrange for the affording of, cheap entry to the property to the authority or the social providers authority for the needs of inspection and removing of the gear.

Insurance coverage for grant-aided property

6. The place the applicant has an insurable curiosity within the grant-aided property, he shall prepare and keep in impact ample insurance coverage for the property, topic to and with the good thing about the finished works, all through the grant situation interval.

Restore of grant-aided property

7. The place the applicant has an obligation or energy to hold out works of restore to the grant-aided property, he shall be certain that, to the extent that his obligation or energy permits, the property stays match for human habitation all through the grant situation interval.

Compensation of grant

8. Within the occasion of a breach of any of the situations set out in paragraphs 3 to 7, the authority could demand compensation from the applicant of a sum equal to the quantity of the grant paid or, because the case could also be, any instalments of grant paid and the identical shall grow to be repayable to the authority in accordance with part 52 of the Act.

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9. Paragraphs 2 to eight shall not have impact in relation to purposes for grant made earlier than 17 December 1996.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State

C L L Braun
Assistant Secretary. Division of the Atmosphere
2 December 1996

The Secretary of State for the Atmosphere, in train of the powers conferred on him by sections 51 and 94 of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 and of all different powers enabling him in that behalf, hereby provides to native housing authorities in England the next normal consent:

Quotation and graduation

1. This consent could also be cited on the Housing Renewal Most important Grants (Restoration of Compensation) Normal Consent 1996 and shall come into drive on 17 December 1996.

2. The place an area housing authority approve an utility for grant beneath Half 1 of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 they might impose a situation requiring the applicant to take cheap steps to pursue any related declare to which part 51 of that Act applies and to repay the grant, as far as is suitable, out of the proceeds of such a declare.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State

C L L Braun
Assistant Secretary. Division of the Atmosphere
2 December 1996

The Housing Renewal Grants (Landlord’s Purposes) (England) Course 1996

The Secretary of State for the Atmosphere, as respects England, in train of the powers conferred on him by sections 31(3)(b) and 146(1) and (2) of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996(1) (“the Act”), hereby makes the next Course:-

Quotation and graduation

1. This course could also be cited because the Housing Renewal Grants (Landlord’s Purposes) (England) Course 1996 and shall come into drive on 17 December 1996.

Dedication of landlord’s grants

2. In figuring out the quantity of grant (if any) the place they approve an utility to which part 31 of the Act applies (dedication of quantity of grant in case of landlord’s utility), the native housing authority shall keep in mind, along with the issues referred to in part 31(3)(a) of the Act, such different issues as appear to them to be related in all of the circumstances, having regard particularly to any related coverage contained of their printed renewal technique (if any) for personal sector housing of their space.

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3. Paragraph 2 shall not have impact in relation to purposes for grant made earlier than 17 December 1996.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State

C L L Braun
Assistant Secretary. Division of the Atmosphere
2 December 1996

The Secretary of State for Communities and Native Authorities in train of her powers beneath sections 34(6)(b), 46, 52 and 94 of the Housing Grants, Building and Regeneration Act 1996 (“the Act”) provides to all native housing authorities in England the next normal consent:

Quotation and graduation

1. This consent could also be cited because the Housing Grants Building and Regeneration Act 1996: Disabled Amenities Grant (Situations regarding approval or fee of Grant) Normal Consent 2008 and shall come into drive on 22 Might 2008.

Interpretation

2. Phrases and expressions used on this consent shall, until the context in any other case requires, take the identical which means that’s given to them within the Act.

3.

(1) The place —

(a) native housing authority approves an utility for a grant beneath Half 1 of the Act;

(b) the grant is for a sum exceeding £5,000; and

(c) the applicant (“the recipient”) has a qualifying proprietor’s curiosity within the premises on which the related works are to be carried out,

the native housing authority could impose the situations (or situations to love impact) contained in paragraph (2).

(2) The native housing authority could demand the compensation by the recipient of such a part of the grant that exceeds £5000 (however could not demand an quantity in extra of £10,000) if—

(a) the recipient disposes (whether or not by sale, project, switch or in any other case) of the premises in respect of which the grant was given inside 10 years of the licensed date; and

(b) the native housing authority, having thought-about—

(i) the extent to which the recipient of the grant would undergo monetary hardship have been he to be required to repay all or any of the grant;

(ii) whether or not the disposal of the premises is to allow the recipient of the grant to take up employment, or to alter the situation of his employment;

(iii) whether or not the disposal is made for causes related with the bodily or psychological well being or wellbeing of the recipient of the grant or of a disabled occupant of the premises; and

(iv) whether or not the disposal is made to allow the recipient of the grant to reside with, or close to, any one that is disabled or infirm and in want of care, which the recipient of the grant is intending to supply, or who’s intending to supply care of which the recipient of the grant is in want by cause of incapacity or infirmity,

is glad that it’s cheap in all of the circumstances to require the compensation.

Software of Part 52 of the Act

4. The situations in paragraph 3 are native land expenses and are binding on any one that is in the intervening time an proprietor of the dwelling or constructing.

Appendix D: Assets

Key laws

Additional studying

Ninjay H Briotyon

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