Disability and mental health
Disabled Facilities Grant and other housing assistance grants
Information on the Disabled Facilities Grant and other housing assistance grants to support people with disabilities to live independently and safely in their own homes.
Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG)
The primary aim of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is to provide aids and adaptations to enable people with disabilities to live independently and safely in their own homes.
Applicants from both council-owned and privately-owned properties are considered and screened to assess whether they meet the criteria for the grant. Privately-owned properties can include homeowner, housing associations and privately-rented accommodation. A landlord can also apply on behalf of the resident.
Landlords permission must be obtained prior to approval of a grant. The Tenancy Management team within Hillingdon Council must provide written permission for council-owned properties.
The maximum grant award is £30,000. Applicants must have lived (or intend to live) in the property for at least 5 years.
The grant is means tested, which establishes if the resident is required to contribute to the works, or if they are ineligible due to their income or capital. Council-owned properties are exempt from the means test and do not require a contribution.
A major adaptations assessment is carried out by a social services occupational therapist (OT). The OT provides recommendations and decides on works to the home that are 'necessary' and 'appropriate' to meet the resident's needs.
What works are covered?
- Facilitating access to and from the property
- Making a home safe
- Facilitating access to a room usable for sleeping
- Facilitating access to a bathroom
- Facilitating preparation and cooking of food
- Heating, lighting and power
- Facilitating access to and from the garden
All works must be completed in line with the OT recommendations. Individual elements cannot be omitted, as the works must fully meet the resident's needs. The grant surveyor assigned to the case will determine whether the recommendations are 'reasonable' and 'practicable' by considering the age, condition and suitability of the property.
Residents must not start work prior to achieving formal grant approval. If any works are undertaken prior to obtaining formal grant approval, the application will no longer be valid and will be cancelled.
Adaptation works to a property must be simple and cost effective.
Adaptation works will predominantly take place within the existing footprint of the property by changing the use of rooms, such as converting a dining room into a bedroom. Extension work would only be considered once all other options have been explored.
Who can apply?
You can apply if:
- you are disabled, or living with someone who is disabled
- the house you live in requires adaptations to enable the disabled person to continue to live there normally for the next 5 years
- you are owner-occupiers, social housing tenants, privately-rented tenants or live in mobile parks and houseboats
- you are foster parents and there is sufficient proof that the child will remain in your care for the foreseeable future.
How much will I have to contribute?
Your contribution to the cost of the works is calculated by looking at your weekly income and comparing it with the amount the government says that a household like yours needs to live on each week (this figure is called the 'applicable amount').
If your income is above the applicable amount, you will have to make a contribution towards the cost. If you are in receipt of income support, pension credit or income-based job seeker's allowance then it is unlikely that you will have to pay a contribution.
All grant applicants are required to provide documentary evidence of their income and savings.
How to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant
To apply for a disabled facilities grant, contact Social Care Direct:
- email email@example.com
- call 01895 556633
Once we receive your initial contact, we will ask you for some information about yourself.
Depending on the nature of your needs, we will send you an application form to complete for assessment.
Once you have completed and returned this, we will let you know if you are eligible for a grant and whether you will have to contribute towards the costs.
You will be referred to an occupational therapist who will make an appointment to see you to assess your needs.
Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant
If the applicant is an owner-occupier and has work funded through a DFG, the Council will register a local land charge against their property, where the grant payment exceeds £5,000. This allows the recovery of funds in the event of a property subsequently being sold or otherwise disposed of.
If the property is disposed of within 10 years of the date of completion of the works, then the Council may demand the repayment of such part of the DFG that exceeds £5,000 (but may not demand an amount in excess of £10,000).
Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant
If the property is disposed of within 10 years of the date of completion of the works then the grant is fully repayable to the council. If the applicant is an owner-occupier and has work funded through a DFG, the council will register a local land charge against their property. This allows the recovery of funds in the event of a property subsequently being sold or otherwise disposed of.
Essential Repair Grant
If the property is disposed of within 10 years of the date of completion of the works, then the grant is fully repayable to the council. If the applicant is an owner-occupier and has work funded through this grant, the Council will register a local land charge against their property. This allows the recovery of funds in the event of a property subsequently being sold or otherwise disposed of.
Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant
Council-owned properties that have had work funded through a DFG, will subsequently be removed from the Right to Buy scheme.
Once the works have been completed, the council will not remove adaptations from a property. If the resident decides they do not like the adaptation(s), the council will not remove or amend the works. No additional works will be completed unless an OT reassesses the resident and decides their needs have significantly changed.
If an applicant is dissatisfied with the standard of service, they are advised to follow Hillingdon Council's complaints procedure at www.hillingdon.gov.uk/complaints
Other housing assistance grants
There are various other discretionary grants that are available to residents, subject to the availability of funding. These include:
- Discretionary Disabled Facilities Grant
- Essential Repair Grant
- Safe and Warm Grant
- Burglar Alarm Assistance
- Hospital Discharge Grant
- Sanctuary Scheme
- Landlord Property Renovation Grant
- Relocation Grant