WEEKEND WEB: Keeping people in their homes
CABINET CALL: A weekly column written by members of South Holland District Council’s Cabinet. This week with: COUN CHRISTINE LAWTON
What is a DFG? A DFG (not to be confused with Roald Dahl’s BFG) is a Disabled Facilities Grant which is a grant available from local authorities to help pay for essential adaptations for disabled people to carry on living in their own homes.
I was very pleased that Lincolnshire County Council recently recognised the work South Holland District Council’s small Private Sector Housing Team do.
It would appear we are one of the best performing teams in the county for providing adaptations to allow people to live safely and independently in their homes.
Adaptations can come in various forms, from simply providing a stairlift to enable someone to get upstairs to their bedroom, taking out a bath and installing a level access shower so people can wash, to major works such as providing a full extension.
The team work hard to ensure that any works are carried out as fast as possible, for example the installation of a straight flight stairlift can be completed in under a month from the recommendation being made by the occupational therapist.
Other works do take longer though, as plans for the scheme of works have to be drawn and building regulations approved.
The team work closely with South Holland Building Consultancy team who provide architectural and project management for any proposed works.
We work closely with Lincolnshire County Council in providing adaptations as any works must be recommended by an occupational therapist from the county council and must be reasonable, practical and cost effective. Grants are not available to everyone, they are means tested so can only be accessed by those of limited financial means.
It’s also important to stress that a DFG will not affect any other benefits applications receive.
Sometimes it is not possible to adapt a property and the team will work at providing alternative solutions which may involve a move to more suitable accommodation.
Help is available by way of a relocation grant to help people cover the costs of a move.
Adaptations can alter people’s lives, enabling them to continue to live in their home and complete everyday tasks most of us take for granted.
In March The Department of Health & Social Care in partnership with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government commissioned an independent review of the Disable Facilities Grants system. One of the subjects of this review is the wider integration of the grants system with Health and Social Care so that we can continue to improve this important service to our residents.