Today the Department for Communities and Local Government is announcing the local authority allocations for the disabled facilities grant programme in England, making available £180 million in 2012-13. An additional £228,750 will be paid to local authorities that have funded adaptations for ex-service personnel in 2011-12, to enable them to live independently at home with dignity and respect. This recognises Government’s commitment to helping service personnel gain the housing they deserve.
Local authorities are being informed of their individual allocations. Details of the amount awarded to each authority will be available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website and a table detailing the funds provided to individual authorities has been placed in the Library of the House.
The disabled facilities grant programme has been protected. By the end of the spending review period the national disabled facilities grant budget will increase from £169 million in 2010-11 to £185 million in 2014-15. In January we announced an additional £20 million DFG funding, bringing the total this year up to £200 million, delivering a total investment of £745 million over the SR period.
The programme helps disabled people to live as comfortably and independently as possible in their own homes through the provision of adaptations. Entitlement to a disabled facilities grant is mandatory for eligible disabled people and the grant provides financial assistance for the provision of a wide range of housing adaptations ranging from stair lifts, level-access showers and home extensions. The programme is therefore key in delivering the Government’s objective of providing increased levels of care and support to both disabled and vulnerable people to help them live independently in their own homes.
The Department for Communities and Local Government wrote to all local authorities in January 2011 to announce a small change to the disabled facilities grant allocation methodology, with part of the allocation being distributed using a relative needs weighted index. We are making £180 million available in 2012-13, the same as the main allocation in 2011-12, and as a result, all local authorities will receive the same individual allocations as they did in 2011-12.
Government have also invested £1.5 million in the FirstStop information and advice service which aims to help older and vulnerable people make informed decisions about their housing, care and support options and to help them maintain independent living in later life. In addition, the Government provided £51 million funding for handypersons schemes over the spending review period to deliver small home repairs and adaptations.