£1.5m of Disabled Facilities Grants approved in Belfast
Published: Fri, 11 Apr 2014
Since April 2013 our Belfast Grants Office has approved 216 Disabled Facilities Grants worth over £1.5m for owner occupiers, landlords and private tenants.
In the same period almost 150 adaptations were completed. Disabled Facilities Grants, up to a maximum of £25,000, are paid to make the home of a person with a disability more suitable for their needs and to improve their quality of life.
Our Belfast Grants Manager Tom Hall explains: “Disabled Facilities Grants are available provided there is a person with a disability living in the home. All grant aided work is based on the recommendation of an occupational therapist from the Health and Social Services Trust.
“The work varies and is dependent on the individual needs of the person who has a disability. Typical works include making access in and around the house easier, widening doorways, altering existing bathroom or kitchen facilities to make them more suitable, providing level access shower facilities, ramped access, or providing a ground floor bedroom or shower room. We also have arrangements with some independent agencies who can help elderly people or those with special needs through the grants process.
“Just as the work varies, so too does the amount of grant. This will depend on the approved cost of the work and the grant applicant’s financial circumstances, as some people might have a contribution to make towards the cost of the work. However, if the adaptations are for a child then no financial assessment is carried out.”
Speaking about other types of improvement grants he added: “The other mandatory grant available is a Repair Grant. These are for properties in the private rented sector that have had a statutory notice served on them by the council and during the year the Belfast Grants Office approved 468 of these with a value of over £400,000.
“Discretionary Renovation, Replacement or Home Repair Assistance Grants are also available where exceptional circumstances are deemed to exist. And, in the past year the Belfast Grants Office approved 23 Renovation Grants worth over £230,000 and 13 Home Repair Assistance Grants with a value of almost £44,000.”
Exceptional circumstances are defined as works which need to be undertaken:
- to enable adaptation works to be carried out
- due to an imminent and significant health & safety risk to the occupant
- if there is a serious risk to the occupants due to structural stability
- due to circumstances relating to the health and wellbeing of the occupant
For further information and advice contact our Belfast Grants Office at Laganview House, 95 Ann Street, Belfast (Tel 03448 920 900) or visit www.nihe.gov.uk