Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have approved a new Housing Assistance Policy to help residents suffering with a long-term illness adapt their homes.
The councils approved the introduction of a local grant scheme, called the Minor Adaptations Grant, to offer financial support to enable residents to carry out minor adaptations to their home up to £7,500, enabling them to remain live independently and safely in their homes for longer.
Works covered within the new scheme include ramps, bathing/washing facilities, additional heating, stairlifts, key safes and wash/dry toilets.
The Housing Assistance Policy, forms part of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), and is specifically designed to meet specialist needs not covered by mandatory DFG without the need for applicants to be means tested.
Through the scheme the councils will be able to target those most in need, who may currently not be able to live independently at home and allocate resources in a shorter time scale, allowing disabled residents to live in suitable accommodation, enabling them to live as independently as possible.
The Minor Adaptations Grant supports anyone with an identified need for adaptations including those ‘Living with Dementia’, those suffering with or caring for someone with a ‘Terminal Illness’ or needing ‘End of Life’ support, or those needing quick adaptations to their home after a stay in hospital ‘Home from Hospital’.
Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Jan Osborne, said:
“What seem like relatively small improvements can have a major impact on someone’s quality of life. Often illness is unplanned and doesn’t give residents much time to make the necessary arrangements at home. We’ve made the process for the Minor Adaptions Grant more straightforward, which should help to enable residents to leave hospital and return to the comfort of their own home quicker than they might have been able to previously.”
Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Julie Flatman, said:
“Making sure our residents across the districts are able to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible is really important. This grant will allow people with a variation of long-term illnesses or who require more support in their home, to carry out minor improvements that will make a real difference to their quality of life.”
The councils are encouraging residents in both districts to come forward to apply for the grants which will cover a range of adaptions including;
• Installing bathroom fittings
• Installation of a key safe
• Removing door thresholds
• Installing pivot hinges
• Widening doors
• Installation of additional radiators
• Level access shower