Wealden District Council
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More help with disability home adaptions

Publish Date: 18 February 2021

Making homes safe for people living with dementia and improvements to ensure patients can be safely discharged from hospital will now be eligible for financial help under Wealden District Council’s new Private Sector Housing Financial Assistance Policy.

Also included in the new policy is top-up support to help households who do not have enough finance resources to meet their side of any means-tested disability adaptions.

“Dementia Assistance will help make homes safe for people living with dementia,” said Councillor Ray Cade, Wealden Cabinet member for Housing and Benefits. “It will allow them to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own home, avoiding the disorientation which can take place if someone has to move elsewhere.

“Making sure elderly patients can be discharged from hospital into a hazard-free home is vital for the efficient working of the NHS.  Hospital Discharge Assistance will enable urgent repairs to be carried out to a patient’s home, including heating improvements and de-cluttering to avoid trips and falls, easing the problem of bed-blocking.”

 416 properties have benefited over the past five years

These changes were approved at the February Cabinet meeting of Wealden District Council. Wealden’s Private Housing Financial Assistance Policy already includes the Disabled Facilities Grant which is mandatory. This allows for £30,000 of building work. As build costs increase, the Disabled Facilities Top-Up Assistance can ensure work takes place in cases where the improvements will cost more that £30,000.  Over the past five years, £2.8 million has been spent on disability improvements to 416 properties in Wealden.

The Private Sector Housing Financial Assistance Policy also allows for loans to be made to vulnerable families through the Parity Trust. This has secured £1.3 million of long term housing solutions for vulnerable families trapped in unsuitable housing.

Other available support includes Disabled Person’s Relocation Assistance and the provision of an enhanced Occupational Therapy Service.

Full roll out of the provisions of the new policy are likely to be dependent on how quickly regular assessments can be made when social distancing measures are relaxed. The Council will be publicising the wider support available through the new Private Sector Housing Financial Assistance Policy in partnership with local hospitals, the Wealden Dementia Action Alliance and other support organisations. Applications for discretionary disabled assistance will be prioritised according to agreed priorities.

To find out more about the help available to private homeowners to carry out disability adaptions, please email privatehousing@wealden.gov.uk or visit the Private Housing Assistance page of the Wealden website.