Major adaptations

If you are a Housing Executive tenant and wish to apply for a major adaptation you will need to follow the process detailed below.

Please note that the completion of adaptation work may involve certain people calling to your home including Housing Executive staff, occupational therapists, technical advisers and building contractors. If a caller claims to be on official business always ask to see the caller's identification card

Step 1: Contact your local district office

You will need to contact your local district office and explain the nature of the difficulties you are having around your home. The problem may be able to be resolved with a minor adaptation, but failing this the tenant will be advised to contact the Occupational Therapy Service.

Step 2: Occupational therapist's assessment

When a referral is received and accepted an occupational therapist will carry out an assessment which looks at both your needs, and where appropriate your carers’ needs, to decide whether they can be met through a range of services. This may involve a visit to your home. The occupational therapist (OT) will then discuss the options with you. These may include rehabilitation, referral to other Health & Social Services professionals, provision of daily living equipment, moving home or adapting your home.

On occasions the occupational therapist may be accompanied by the area welfare officer from your  area office. You should have agreement with your occupational therapist about your needs and, where appropriate, your carers needs following assessment. The occupational therapist will forward the recommendations to the area welfare office.

The occupational therapy department will prioritise your case based on the nature of the referral. The time-scale for assessment will depend on whether you case is classified as a priority or non-priority case.

Priority status will be awarded if you are:

  • coming out of hospital and at risk
  • living alone and at risk
  • living with a carer who is elderly or disabled
  • assessed as having a limited life expectancy

Step 3: Area welfare officer evaluation

The area welfare officer will have received a recommendation for an adaptation from the occupational therapist and will call to your home to discuss what options are open to you. The area welfare officer may be accompanied by a designer or other technical staff and on occasion an occupational therapist. If it is considered that an adaptation is required the technical officer will examine your home and assess whether or not the adaptation is technically feasible in your home.

Step 4: Option appraisal

The area welfare officer and other management staff will carry out an appraisal of all of the options open to you including housing transfer and will discuss these with you.

Step 5: Sketch drawings

A consultant architect will be appointed to draw a sketch of your home including the proposed adaptation within it.

Step 6: Agreement of plans

The proposals drawn up by the architect will need to be agreed with your occupational therapist. You will also get an opportunity to see the plans at this stage and to ask any questions that you may have regarding the design solution. Infrequently decanting may need to be considered where you will have to move out of your home while work is being completed. The area welfare officer will make arrangements with your local district office to investigate this were necessary.

Step 7: Statutory approvals

During this stage you may not have much contact with the area welfare officer but a lot of work will be done on your behalf. The sketch drawings will be made into formal working drawings, the cost of the scheme will be worked out and statutory approvals such as planning and building control approval will be applied for. When all of these details are known, the final decision for approval of your adaptation will be the responsibility of the relevant area manager.

Step 8: Appointment of a contractor

A contractor will be appointed and should visit or contact you to discuss the nature of the work, a start date and how long the work will take to complete. The work may involve various people and the area welfare officer can explain the roles of these people.

Step 9: Building work

The contractor will carry out the building work for your adaptation.

Step 10: Occupational therapist's check visit

An occupational therapist may need to visit your home to ensure that the adaptation is appropriate and to provide any necessary equipment and training on its use. If you are unsure about how to use your new facilities or equipment, please contact your local occupational therapy service.