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Disabled Facilities Grant supporting residents to remain independent

Help is available to elderly, vulnerable and disabled residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf to adapt their homes, and to provide specialist aids and equipment, to help keep them safe from injury and maintain their independence in their home.

Some minor aids and adaptations, including the provision of internal and external handrails and grab rails can be provided free of charge, and a Disabled Facilities Grant is available to fund major adaptations subject to a financial ‘means test’.

Who is eligible to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant and what does it include?

Disabled Facilities Grants are available to owners and tenants, for works to benefit themselves or others living with them. An assessment by an Occupational Therapist is required to identify an applicant’s specific needs. Their recommendations are used to determine eligible works. Work covered by Disabled Facilities Grants can include, but are not limited to:

  • Work to improve access to and around the home, including the provision of ramps and rails, the widening of doors and the provision of stair lifts and vertical lifts;
  • Adaptations to existing washing and bathing facilities, that include the provision of level access shower facilities and specialist toilet to help maintain personal hygiene; and
  • Improving or installing an appropriate heating system.

A grant of up to £36,000 is available via the Disabled Facilities Grants. However, the amount received will depend on an individual applicant’s financial circumstances. An assessment of an applicant’s income and savings, known as a ‘means test’ will be made to determine the amount of grant assistance they will receive.

In 2019/2020, 297 Disabled Facilities Grants were delivered, with 97% of residents stating that they were ‘very satisfied/satisfied with the adaptations they received. The Customer Satisfaction Survey asked questions to those who had received the Disabled Facilities Grants such as ‘Do you feel you are able to do things that you couldn’t before and do you feel more confident/independent?’, 96% of residents agreed that they were able to do things that they couldn’t before receiving the grant and as a result, they felt more confident in their home.

Whilst 2020/2021 has been a challenging year for everyone with the pandemic, the Housing Grants Service continues to process emergency Disabled Facilities Grants for our most vulnerable residents supporting those that require adaptations to their home in order to be discharged from hospital or who require adaptations to their home to prevent them having to go into hospital or a care facility.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “Disabled Facilities Grants are vital for some of our most vulnerable residents to maintain their much loved independence in their own homes.

“We know that people wish to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, but sometimes their homes aren’t immediately suitable to support their changing needs.

“As a Council we are committed to supporting our residents who wish to maintain their independence, and the Disabled Facilities Grants are an excellent example of how we work with our residents to achieve this.

“The adaptions to homes that can be made through a Disabled Facilities Grant can mean the difference between someone being able to leave their home without support compared to not being able to get out of the front door safely.

“We know that a lot of homes in our communities were built in a way that do not support people who struggle with their mobility, however, the Disabled Facilities Grant is a way in which we can support those residents who need help and maintain their independence.”

To request an assessment, you can contact the Authority’s First Response Team on 01443 425003.

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Grants Team can provide assistance to Disabled Facilities Grant applicants to help them make an application, appoint a suitable contractor and oversee the work. Further information on Disabled Facilities Grants, including Terms & Conditions, can be found on the Council’s website, via this link.