If you or someone living in your property is disabled, you may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). This grant goes towards the cost of providing adaptations and/or facilities to meet necessary basic housing needs for someone with a disability.
Please be aware that government funded DFGs will take time to process through to the approval stage. This is due to more than one party being involved with a very strict procedure to follow including occupational therapist reports, landlord consent (if applicable), technical drawings, building and planning consent to name a few. From the moment Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) receives a full, formal application with correct quotes from the surveyor, it must then be approved within six months.
Who can apply for a grant and how much might they receive
An applicant must either be the owner of his/her home (this includes a mobile home), a private or housing association tenant or a landlord with a disabled tenant.
All grant applications are means tested, unless the applicant is a disabled child. The test will calculate what contribution, if any, an applicant might have to make towards the cost of any proposed works. Currently there is a maximum grant aid limit of £30,000 towards proposed work, over and above the contribution of an applicant (if any).
When you apply to MVDC for a DFG, checks will be made that the proposed works are:
- necessary and appropriate to meet the disabled person's needs
- reasonable and practical, depending on the age and condition of the property
DFGs are available when there is an occupant of the dwelling who is disabled. The grants can cover a variety of adaptations including those to:
- allow you access to and from the house (for example, widening doors for wheelchair access and installing ramps)
- make the house safe for you
- allow you access to a room used or usable as a living room
- allow you access to, or providing, an appropriate bedroom
- help you to prepare and cook food
- facilitate access and movement around the home to allow you to care for someone dependent on you who also lives there
MVDC needs to be satisfied about each of these matters and can refuse the DFG if the scheme does not meet these requirements.
Conditions of the grant being awarded
Grant aid will not be paid if work is started before MVDC approves the application.
The cost of employing an architect or a surveyor may be included in the costs of the grant, however, if a surveyor is employed and MVDC refuses the grant application, the applicant must pay the cost of appointing the surveyor.
Processing a DFG from start to finish is likely to take between 6 - 12 months. As part of the process, an applicant will need to have an assessment by an occupational therapist and this can take some time. MVDC will also need to gain consent from the landlord before starting any works if the applicant's property is rented.
Repayment of Grants over £5000 on Sale or Transfer of Property
Where the Council approves a DFG in excess of £5000 and the applicant owns or leases the property, the Council will register a charge on the property, through the Council's Land Charges unit. This will only be applied where the grant was used to construct an additional room to the property, thereby enhancing its value.
If the applicant sells or transfers the property within 10 years of completion of the DFG work, the Council may demand the repayment of part of the grant, but can only require the repayment of a maximum of £10,000. In making the decision to require the repayment of part of the grant, the Council will consider a number of matters.
Who carries out the works
MVDC works in partnership with Millbrook Healthcare. They are a not-for-profit home improvement agency and registered as a community interest company.
Millbrook oversee all the works done on properties using one or more of their listed and vetted contractors.
For more information on the service provided by Millbrook, please call 03301 243758 or send your enquiry to: Millbrook Healthcare, The Old Crumpet Factory, 16, Brockham Lane, Brockham, Surrey, RH3 7EL
For further information please email Environmental Health or Call 01306 885001 and ask for the Environmental Health Department.