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Disabled Facilities Grant

 A disabled facilities grant is available to help pay for a range of works needed to help a disabled person live more independently at home, including:

  • to make it easier to get into and out of the dwelling  by, for example, widening doors and installing ramps;
  • ensuring the safety of the disabled person and other occupants by, for example,  providing a specially adapted room in which it would be safe to leave a disabled person unattended or improved lighting to ensure better visibility;
  • to make access easier to the living room;
  • by providing or improving access to the bedroom, and kitchen, toilet, washbasin and bath (and/or shower) facilities; for example, by installing a stair lift or providing a downstairs bathroom;
  • to improve or provide a heating system in your home which is suitable for the needs of the disabled person;
  • to adapt heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use;
  • to improve access and movement around the home to enable the disabled person to care for another person who lives in the property, such as a spouse, child or another person for whom the disabled person cares; and
  • to improve access to the garden where feasible.

You can apply for a grant if you are:

  • The owner or a tenant of a dwelling.
  • The occupier of a houseboat or a park home (a mobile home on a licensed site). 

A grant can contribute up to £30,000 towards the cost of necessary adaptations, including all relevant fees and professional costs. The grant may cover the whole cost or just a part. This is decided by a means test of the disabled person (not needed if the disabled person is aged under 19), and any spouse or partner.  Many applicants do not need to make a contribution at all.

The first step is for an Occupational Therapist from Herts County Council to assess the disabled person’s needs.  If you think you may be eligible for a grant please contact them to arrange a visit.  (Contact details for the relevant department are in the final paragraph below.) When we receive the Occupational Therapist’s recommendations we will send you a grant application form.  We regret being unable to deal with an application without an Occupational Therapist’s referral; nor can we consider a grant for work already done.

When we receive your application we calculate whether you are likely to have to contribute towards the cost, and if so then by how much.  If a grant is likely to be payable then an officer from Environmental Health visits to discuss what is needed and practicable. You can then decide whether you wish to proceed. If you do, you would have an architect draw up a detailed plan and specification for the work, obtain 3 quotes from builders and, if necessary, obtain approval for Building Regulations and/or planning permission. The architect would usually be able to arrange all this for you. Applicants who are owners also need to have a solicitor confirm their ownership details. To help you we provide details of architects, builders and solicitors who have done this kind of work before, and their fees can be included in the grant.

During the procedure applicants are asked to certify that they intend to let the disabled occupant live in the property for 5 years (if the applicant is a tenant) or 10 years (if the applicant is the property owner), if they remain able to do so.  This is a grant condition, breach of which can trigger a demand for repayment of some of the grant (although we always look at each situation sympathetically).  If the applicant is a tenant we also need the landlord to certify they intend to let the disabled person stay in the property for 5 years after the work has been completed. If the applicant occupies a houseboat or mobile home (park home) we ask them for a similar 5 year certificate plus we have to ask for everyone who is an owner of the boat, mooring, park home and site to give their consent for the work to be done.

Although the grant applicant is responsible for completing all paperwork and arranging the work of the architect, solicitor and builder we are happy to visit and give help with filling in forms, give advice regarding who could provide each of the relevant services, and to liaise with all parties over what they need to do.  The grant is only paid when the applicant and Council are both happy with the work.  Unfortunately we are unable to help with any subsequent problems.  This would be a private matter for the applicant to resolve with the contractor (and/or the manufacturer if it relates to an item under warranty).

If you would like to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant please begin by asking Herts CC for an Occupational Therapist to assess what work is needed. For disabled adults please call Herts Health and Community Services on 0300 123 4042; for those aged under 19 please call Herts Children’s Services on 0300 123 4043. For enquiries about the grant procedure after an Occupational Therapist has referred a case to Three Rivers DC please call Environmental Health on 01923 776611 or email enquiries@threerivers.gov.uk

Disabled Facilities Grant