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Disabled Facilities Grants

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many disabled facilities grant awards were made in each of the last five years. (196987)

The disabled facilities grant is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people. Local authorities in England report their annual disabled facilities grant expenditure and the number of recipients of disabled facilities grant through the housing strategy statistical appendix. The 2006-07 housing strategy statistical appendix report was recently published. The following table sets out the number of disabled facilities grant recipients in England from 2002-03 to 2006-07:

Number of recipients

2002-03

29,314

2003-04

34,925

2004-05

38,552

2005-06

34,955

2006-07

37,266

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the statement of 25 February, Official Report, columns 66-67WS, on the national strategy for housing in an ageing society: disabled facilities grant (funding), what guidance will be issued to local authorities to ensure that funding provided for the disabled facilities grant (DFG) is spent on DFG related purposes once the ring fencing for this funding is removed. (196997)

[holding answer 27 March 2008]: The removal of the ringfence in respect of the funding for disabled facilities grant will be piloted in a number of local authorities from 2008-09. The pilots will be evaluated and lessons learnt through this process. This will inform good practice guidance for all other local authorities before the ring fence is removed in 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many disabled facilities grant awards have been made at the maximum level of £25,000 in the last five years. (196998)

[holding answer 27 March 2008]: The disabled facilities grant is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people. Local authorities in England report their total annual disabled facilities grant expenditure and the number of recipients of disabled facilities grant through the housing strategy statistical appendix. This does not include information on the individual level of grants awarded.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many disabled facilities grant awards the Government estimate will be made at the new maximum level of £30,000 in the three years after its introduction in April 2008; and what the effect on costs will be. (196999)

[holding answer 27 March 2008]: In 2004, the Government launched a cross departmental review of the disabled facilities grant programme. Bristol university were commissioned to carry out an independent study of the programme and make recommendations for change. One of the recommendations for change was to increase the maximum level for a disabled facilities grant. Bristol estimated that increasing the limit from £25,000 to £30,000 would impact on the national budget in the region of £4.3 million. It is estimated that this increase will affect in the region of 1,000 grant applications each year. The national budget for the disabled facilities grant programme increases by £25 million in 2008-09 and then by £10 million in each of the following two years. This increase meets the cost of the changes made to the programme as well as helping to address the continued growth in demand for adaptations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 25 February 2008, Official Report, columns 66-67WS, on the national strategy for housing in an ageing society: disabled facilities grant (funding), how many disabled facilities grant awards the Government estimate will be made in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. (197107)

The disabled facilities grant is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people. Local authorities in England report their annual disabled facilities grant expenditure and the number of recipients of disabled facilities grant through the housing strategy statistical appendix.

The figures provided by the 2007 housing strategy statistical appendix estimates a total of 42,014 will receive disabled facilities grants in 2008-09. The Department does not hold estimated numbers beyond 2008-09.