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Disabled Facilities Grant

Volume 599: debated on Monday 14 September 2015

7. If the Government will ensure that the statutory maximum for a disabled facilities grant increases in line with inflation. (901302)

The Government have invested just over £1 billion in the disabled facilities grant since 2010. That has funded about 170,000 adaptations, helping thousands of disabled people to live safely at home.

I thank the Minister for that answer, but a report and survey by Muscular Dystrophy UK that will be launched in Parliament this week show that thousands of people are being forced into tens of thousands of pounds of debt because the disabled facilities grant has not been increased since 2008 and just does not cover the cost of adaptations. Will the Minister be kind enough to meet me and representatives of Muscular Dystrophy UK to look at the report and see what the Government can realistically do to help all the people who so desperately need adaptations?

I am not sure about my diary for this week, but I undertake to meet the hon. Lady and representatives from Muscular Dystrophy UK on this important issue. The Government are providing £220 million for the disabled facilities grant this year, which is a 19% increase on 2014-15. Where the cost of adaptations exceeds £30,000, local authorities are in a position to provide top-up funding. I hear what the hon. Lady says. A spending review will take place in a few weeks and I will listen to her comments and those of other Members.

The disabled facilities grant has done wonderful work to support our disabled ex-service personnel. May I encourage the Minister and his colleagues to ensure that that continues for the rest of this Parliament?

It is extremely important that the Government continue to support our armed forces personnel. In this country we hold dearly the work done by our armed forces, and as my hon. Friend says, it is extremely important that we continue to support them. I will take that into account, as will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, in the up-and-coming spending review.

17. Given the Government’s dismal record of selling off council housing and extending it to housing associations, what steps is the Minister taking to ensure that our remaining council housing stock has adequate disabled provision and access for those who need it? (901312)

Order. This is in reference to the disabled facilities grant, but I feel sure that the dexterity of the hon. Gentleman is boundless.

You are right, Mr Speaker—it is a rather tenuous link but I will do my best. As I have said, the Government are providing significant funding to local authorities to provide disabled facilities grants, and there is no reason why they cannot use that for current council housing stock, or support housing associations with their stock.