New Disabled Facility Grants policy helps people to stay in their own homes

Published: 03/07/2024
A bathroom with accessible facilities and adaptations

Ashford Borough Council has reviewed its approach to help and support provided to local residents who are in need of aids, equipment and adaptations in their own home in order to help them remain independent, safe and cared for.

A report to Cabinet on Thursday 27 June reminded councillors that Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are managed through the council’s Private Sector Housing team within the Housing service. The grants relate to privately owned and rented housing and not to the council’s own housing stock, which is managed via the Housing Revenue Account.

A bathroom with independent aids and adaptations The council funds the DFGs through the Better Care Fund (external funding through Kent County Council) and General Fund capital receipts. We allocate around £1 million a year to the scheme.

The report explained that currently the council does not have a specific policy relating to Disabled Facilities Grants. The new policy sets out the way in which we provide both mandatory and discretionary grants for private sector adaptations, in accordance with current legislation and guidance.

The policy will provide guidance on decision making and set out the process while streamlining internal DFG processes to ensure all requests are treated fairly and consistently.

Cabinet heard that the council is committed to helping vulnerable and disabled residents and aims to level the playing field for disabled adaptions, regardless of tenure in the private market.

The policy will be displayed on ABC’s website and it will be reviewed annually and amended to take account of any funding changes. Cabinet voted unanimously to adopt the policy.