Skip to main content

Disabled Facilities Grants

Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much she has allocated to disability facility grants for each of the (a) last and (b) next five years; what estimate she has made of the average local authority contribution to such grants over the same periods; and what estimate she has made of the overall cost to the public purse of disability facility grants over the same periods; (207459)

(2) what assessment she has made of the likely effect of the removal of the obligation on local authorities to contribute 40 per cent. of disability facility grant awards on the (a) level and (b) effectiveness of such awards; and if she will make a statement.

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people. Local authorities in England report to the Department their annual DFG expenditure through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix. The 2006-07 Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix report is the latest available data and is available at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/localauthorityhousing/dataforms/357553/hssa200607/

Communities and Local Government do not hold information on how much local authorities plan to spend on DFG in the next five years.

The following table details funding for the past five years and Communities and Local Government funding for the current Comprehensive Spending Review period.

£

DFG

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Government contribution

99,000

99,572

111,294

120,723

138,250

146,081

156,000

166,000

Total including LA contribution

194,890

210,922

221,289

232,828

259,389

274,356

n/a

n/a

Note: 2007-08 and 2008-09 are estimated returns provided by the 2006-07 Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix.

Prior to 2008-09 Communities and Local Government contributed 60 per cent. of the value of the DFG to local authorities up to an agreed allocation with the local authority funding the remaining 40 per cent. Many local authorities have been spending considerably more than the 40 per cent. match funding element of the DFG on providing adaptations. The mandatory nature of the DFG remains in place with the legal responsibility for delivering the scheme resting with local authorities. It is therefore expected that the removal of the 60:40 split will have no impact on the level of local authority investment.

Relaxing the ring fence will enable local authorities to bring together different funding streams, allowing greater flexibility and freedom in administering the programme. It will also empower local authorities to design services which fit with local delivery arrangements and the needs of individuals. Local authorities will, for example, be able to use DFG funding to cover the costs of moving home, where this is a more appropriate solution to adaptation.