‘Secret’ funding to help adapt for disabled tenants
Written by Angela May
If you have long term tenants who need changes to the property to enable them to retain their independence, Government funding is available to cover the costs, says Closomat.
The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is claimed to be one of the best kept secrets of the welfare system. It can provide up to £30,000(a) towards the cost of undertaking changes to a property that are “necessary and appropriate”, are “reasonable and can be done” to help someone live independently. The Government pot has almost doubled in five years: in the current financial year, £500m is available for DFGs via local authorities.
What is also little known is that landlords- social and private- can apply on behalf of the tenant. Thus the cost of making physical and structural alterations to a property that a tenant requires can be covered in part or wholly by the funding, without expenditure by the landlord. Application forms are available from the local authority (usually the housing department).
Observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager, “According to a new report(b), the bathroom is the most frequently adapted room under a DFG. The WC is the most commonly altered fixture therein- be it a change of seat, height, or a whole toilet (to a shower/ wash dry unit). Few local authorities publicise availability of the grants, the majority of potential recipients do not realise they can claim, and few landlords realise that they can apply too, so long as the tenants is intending to live in the property for the duration of the grant period (currently five years).”
To facilitate landlords in optimising use of the resource, Closomat offers a comprehensive support package, including site survey, supply, install, commissioning, and subsequent service & maintenance. The CDM compliant package covers its range of shower toilets, toilet lifters, ceiling track hoists, height-adjustable washbasins and changing beds.
(a) £30,000 in England, £25,000 in Northern Ireland, and £26,000 in Wales. Scotland the sum is totally at the Council’s discretion.
(b) Foundations report The Disabled Facilities Grant