If you’re elderly or disabled and need your home adapting to help you carry on living there, it should soon become easier and quicker to apply for grants and assistance from Telford & Wrekin Council.
The Council’s Cabinet, which meets on 16 June, is due to approve an amended Housing Assistance Policy which will provide additional support to those most in need.
The changes are designed to help Telford & Wrekin Council better deal with the needs of the borough’s disabled people and the increasingly ageing population in order for them to be able to continue living at home.
In turn, it would reduce admission to hospital or residential care and speed up discharge from hospital.
For those who are able to pay for their own adaptations, the Council would provide help for them to oversee and manage the work being done to their homes.
Councillor Richard Overton, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “Most of the borough’s disabled people and over 65s live in their own homes. We are expecting the number of over 65s to increase dramatically by 2030 and we need to be able to look after them.
“By helping them in carrying out the necessary repairs or adaptations to their properties, we would help people to continue living independent lives in the comfort of their own homes.
“For those unable to leave hospital until the necessary changes are made to their home, it would be done more quickly and would therefore free-up much needed hospital beds.
“In addition to allowing people to maintain a high quality standard of living at home, it is also less expensive than hospital or residential care.”
Telford & Wrekin Council has been allocated £1.575m under the “Better Care Fund” for mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) in 2016-17.
If approved by the Council’s Cabinet on 16 June, the key changes to the Housing Assistance Policy would be:
• The addition of Wellbeing Assistance. This would provide assistance to help with smaller-scale home repairs or equipment to reduce hospital or care admissions and speed up hospital discharge.
• The addition of the Discretionary Disabled Facilities Top Up Grant. Since 2008, DFGs have been subject to a limit of £30,000. Due to Increasing costs over recent years, this may no longer cover the expense of the most complex work and could lead to the applicant unnecessarily going into more expensive residential care. The Council would have the ability to award this discretionary top-up grant.