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Disabled Facilities Grants

Volume 495: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to monitor the delivery by local authorities of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) scheme in relation to (a) levels of local authority contributions to DFG, (b) the prioritisation of applications from individuals in urgent need of adaptations to their homes and (c) levels of compliance with target times for delivery under the scheme; and if he will take steps to ensure that uprating of DFG funding allocations by his Department is implemented by local authorities administering the scheme. (283193)

The Housing Grants Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 sets the legislative framework for the Disabled Facilities Grant programme and it is for the local housing authority to assess the need of a disabled person for housing adaptations in the light of the mandatory entitlements. Local authorities are responsible for the local management and administration of the programme and have increased discretion to make local decisions.

It is a condition of payment of every grant that the eligible works are carried out within 12 months from the date of approval of the application concerned. If local authorities act incorrectly a complaint can be made to the local government ombudsman after the correct complaint procedures have been made to the council.

Local authorities are required to complete an annual claim and monitoring form to the Department and maintain financial records which are subject to auditing requirements. This includes information on the level of contribution claimed from central Government and levels of expenditure.