Borough Insight

Changes to our grants policy to help more disabled and vulnerable residents

Home Improvement Agency

We have revised our Private Sector Housing Grants Assistance Policy, so that more disabled and vulnerable residents will benefit from grant funding than before.

The Policy sets out how we provide financial assistance so that residents can remain independent at home for as long as possible, through adaptations and improvements to their homes. The support provided is extremely varied, from fitting level access showers, stairlifts, ramps, grab rails or wheelchair accessible extensions, to remedying health and safety risks associated with items such as heating, electrical wiring and plumbing.

The most significant changes are as follows:

  • The eligibility criteria have been widened, and the means test requirements have been made more flexible.
  • A more versatile approach to the application process and required forms.
  • Access to the service has been improved to include self-referral forms via our website.
  • The maximum discretionary grant level has been increased, to allow for increased costs in the construction industry and in response to the more complex needs of some residents.
  • Cases can be treated on a more individual basis with a wider range of assistance available and more flexible eligibility criteria.
  • Assistance is now available to those living with a terminal illness or dementia.
  • Accessible housing grants will meet a rising need in the housing market for disabled people who are either homeless or need to move to a more suitable property.
  • The introduction of a prevention grant to provide simple measures to ensure that elderly, vulnerable or disabled residents can occupy their homes safely and reduce the likelihood of developing ill-health.

Cllr Clive Woodbridge, Chair of the Community and Wellbeing Committee, said: “It is a priority of this council to improve the lives of our residents. Housing that isn’t fit for purpose can have a significantly detrimental impact on vulnerable, older and disabled people, and can contribute to immobility, social exclusion, ill health and depression.

“Our Private Sector Housing Grants Assistance Policy helps people to live with greater independence in secure, safe, well-maintained, warm and suitable housing.

“I am pleased that the changes to policy that were unanimously approved by the committee in October, will help more of our most vulnerable residents.”

To find out more or to make an application, visit our website, or contact the Home Improvement Agency on sends e-mail) or 01372 732000.

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