Habinteg has published a free briefing explaining the important changes taking place to Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding.
DFG funding is available from local authorities to support independent living by providing adaptations which make homes more accessible and tailored to the specific needs of individual disabled people.
The briefing, which was launched at the CIH Housing conference, presents evidence on the inaccessible nature of much of the existing housing stock, explains why housing adaptations are so often needed and argues for the vital importance of continued DFG funding.
Crucially the legal right to a Disabled Facilities Grant remains unchanged but DFG funding will now be routed through the NHS Better Care Fund. Habinteg argues that despite cuts to public spending, DFG funding must be properly protected. When 91.5% of homes are not visitable by many disabled people, DFG funding is essential in removing barriers for disabled people in their own home.
Habinteg Chief Executive Paul Gamble said:
“Household adaptations help disabled people live independent lives. So it is absolutely vital that Disabled Facilities Grant funding is protected under the new arrangements.
“Local councils and the NHS both need to fund adaptations and Health and Wellbeing Boards need to understand the importance of adaptations to the everyday lives of disabled people. We know more accessible homes need to be built but ensuring the existing housing stock has the funding for adaptations is essential in meeting high demand across the country.
We hope this briefing will help in a practical and informative way and will provide a stimulating and useful resource for housing and health professionals alike.”
The briefing is recommended reading for tenants, housing associations, local authorities, disabled people’s organisations and health professionals. It is available from the Habinteg website www.habinteg.org.uk/DFGBriefing. Hard copies are available by request.