The home improvement agency can provide grants and services to support you to make home adaptions and improvements.
The services include:
- Disabled Facilities Grant
- Handyperson service
- Equity release scheme
Disabled Facilities Grant
The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) allows you to make adaptations to your home so you can live more independently and gain access to essential facilities.
We can carry out the following types of work to the property, amongst others:
- Widening doors and installing ramps
- Providing or improving access to certain rooms - for example, by installing a stair lift or a downstairs bathroom
- Changing heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use
- Improving movement around the home to enable you to care for another person who lives in the property, such as a dependent child
An occupational therapist will look at your circumstances and make recommendations.
You can apply for the grant if:
- you are disabled
- you are the tenant of a private landlord or housing association - the owner of the property can also apply for you
- you intend to reside at the property as the main residence for five years
To qualify you will need to be means tested to find out how much of the grant you are entitled to. Mandatory grant aided adaptations for children and those already receiving a means tested benefit are not subject to the means test. The highest amount of the grant that can be awarded is £30,000.
The grant can be subject to a legal charge on the property. If the value of the property's increases after an adaptation under a mandatory disabled facilities grant, then a 10-year charge will be placed upon the property. Your surveyor will be able to explain more regarding the charge on their visit.
The handyperson service is available to residents living in Harrow. The service is limited to a maximum of six hours work per year, with the six hours spread out over a maximum of four visits per year. The service includes:
- basic plumbing such as unblocking sinks, replacing tap washers or unblocking gutters (low height only)
- basic carpentry such as fixing loose floorboards, un-sticking windows, putting up shelves or fixing gates
- basic electrics such as replacing light bulbs, replacing fuses or fitting a new plug
- home security such as changing locks or installing battery operated smoke alarms
- other small jobs such as minor painting and decorating (does not include painting or decorating of a whole room), turning a mattress or installing safety appliances
To qualify for the service you must be:
- disabled or over 60 and receiving a means tested benefit
- without regular help and support from family and friends
- unable to finance the work yourself
- a homeowner, or a person in rented/leased accommodation responsible for the upkeep of your living area under the tenancy/lease agreement.
If you have a partner or family member living at the property they must not be in paid employment.
Staying put home improvement service
The staying put home improvement service provides help to the elderly (over 60s or disabled) through the home adaptation process. A caseworker from the agency will visit your home and:
- provide you with help, advice and support when repairing/adapting the property
- provide advice on any grants that may be available to help fund the work
- arrange for the preparation of drawings and specifications
- obtain estimates from reliable contractors
- advise on any unclaimed benefit that may be available from the Department of Work and Pensions
- help you complete grant application forms
The Equity release scheme enables you to use the money tied up in your home to provide a tax free lump sum, to spend as you wish. Find out more at Just Retirement.
You can find out more information on grant and services for home adaptions at FirstStop care and advice.
To apply for any of the grants or services please contact Access Harrow adult social care team.