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Disability Facilities Grant

Volume 456: debated on Friday 2 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to introduce the proposed changes to the Disability Facilities Grant. (111045)

The Government’s proposal to improve the Disabled Facilities Grant programme went out for consultation on 18 January, for comments to be returned by 13 April. We plan to issue a response in July.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has (a) to make the Disability Facilities Grant more flexible and (b) to reduce the operation of the ring fence in relation to the grant. (111046)

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) consultation paper published on 18 January 2007 contains two proposals to make the DFG funding more flexible, by widening the ring fence or by removing the ring fence around the funding.

In 2007-08 we will run a small trial widening the ring fence for some authorities. Following an evaluation of the responses to the consultation and the new procedures operating in the pilot areas, a decision about which option to use for national roll-out will be made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how she plans to increase the role of Home Improvement Agencies in relation to the Disability Facilities Grant. (111047)

The Disabled Facilities Grant consultation contains two proposals to develop a stronger role for Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) in the delivery of housing adaptations:

1. HIAs to provide a rapid response for the prevention of accidents and promote early release from hospital;

2. HIAs to provide a full agency service for housing adaptations in county areas.

The Government will consider the best way to proceed following the consultation and subject to funding negotiations.