The Government, through their Supporting People programme, fund a variety of non-statutory services for older people, through local authorities. The SP programme, created in 2003, is administered through top tier local authorities, many of which are borough councils. Over 800,000 older people are supported to live independently through this programme, and services provided include home improvement agency and handyperson services, and wardens. However, it is for local authorities to determine how to best meet the support needs identified in their communities and the Department for Communities and Local Government does not prescribe any particular model of support or services.
In addition, the Disabled Facilities Grant is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people and older people to live independently in their homes. Adaptations include improving access to a home, and to the basic facilities within a home, for example by providing ramps, door widening, stair lifts and level access showers. Each year, around 35,000 people benefit from a Disabled Facilities Grant. This Government have substantially increased the Government funding for the Disabled Facilities Grant programme from £57 million in 1997 to £156 million in 2009-10. Local authorities also contribute towards the cost of adaptations from their own resources.