Adapting your home - how to get help and advice
Updated: 25 May 2016
If you, or someone living with you in your property, has a disability, an adaptation may help you to live more comfortably in your home.
If you or someone living with you has a disability, you may qualify for grant aid. An assessment of your income is used to calculate whether you will have to pay for some of the work. An assessment will not be required where the disabled person is a dependant, up until their 19th birthday.
There are different ways to apply for adaptations, depending on whether your home is:
Who can get help?
If you or someone living in your home is experiencing difficulties with every day activities around the home and this need is verified by a Health & Social Services Trust Occupational Therapist or a designated member of housing staff, you may be eligible for help with adapting your home.
Anyone can apply, regardless of whether you rent or own your home. Landlords and other household members are also eligible to apply on behalf of someone in their property who has particular needs.
What types of adaptations are available?
All housing adaptations are tailored to meet the individual needs of each particular applicant but are generally classified into two main categories:
- Major work such as providing an extension, ground floor toilet or installing a lift
- Minor work such as fitting a handrail, ramp or shower.
How much will the adaptation cost?
If you are a Housing Executive or housing association tenant
If you are a Housing Executive or housing association tenant, there will be no cost for the adaptation and your rent is unlikely to be increased unless substantial structural additions are made to your house. Your landlord, i.e. local district office or housing association will be able to advise you.
If you own your own home or if you live in a privately rented house
If you own your own home or live in a privately rented house your local Health and Personal Social Services Trust may be able to provide small minor works and lifts free of charge. You may also be eligible for grant aid (Disabled Facilities Grant or Home Repair Assistance Grant) towards the cost of adaptations which are not carried out by the Health Trusts. Landlords can also apply provided there is a person with permanent disability either living in the house or intending to live in the house once adaptation work has been completed.
The aim of the grants system is to provide financial help for those who can least afford to pay for having their home altered or improved. The amount of Disabled Facilities or Home Repair Assistance Grant you get will depend upon the cost of adaptations and your ability to pay for them. Therefore the amount of grant you will be given will be calculated by a form of means test called a Test of Resources (TOR). Where a Disabled Facility Grant is in respect of a dependent child the parents/guardians should not be subject to a Test of Resources assessment. Your local Grants Officer will be able to advise you further on this.
The grants office will work out how much you are able to pay towards the cost of the works. The amount of grant you receive, if any, will be the difference between the amount you need to pay and the total cost of the work eligible for grant. The maximum grant you may be given is £25,000 for a Disabled Facilities Grant. Under the Home Repair Assistance Grant you can get assistance up to a maximum of £5,000 over a three year period.
To obtain an estimate of your potential contribution towards your grant application, please click on the following link and enter your details. Should you require any further information, please contact your local Grants Office.