Housing and independent living
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Disabled Facilities Grant

helhel Member Posts: 6 Listener
I have been told that I can get a disabled Facilities Grant, been verbally told our contribution which is manageable but having issues getting agreement as to what work will be done. 

The listed needs are wheelchair access to the house and garage, wider doors to accommodate the wheelchair, non slip flooring to the bedroom and living room (also says kitchen, but that's being ignored) and level access shower in bathroom (as well as retaining the bath due to the needs of another household member). The council want to use the current bathroom space, increasing the size of the usable space by removing an airing cupboard and chimney breast. This will not give enough space for a 1500mm turning circle for my wheelchair. They won't consider an extension, so we want to borrow some extra money to build an extension for the bathroom, but feel we are being pressured to accept the design as it stands. We want to extend the kitchen into the current bathroom space, which would give much better access. 

Anyone have any ideas how to get what we need rather than what the council think we need? They are putting the job put to tender rather than paying our builders, again we are being given no choice in this.


Replies

  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 374 Pioneering
    I am afraid when it comes to disability grants the council have the last say in how much funding they can allocate to the job and they have a list of contractors .
    When i had my bathroom converted to a wet room they had 3 tenders and picked the cheapest and if i wanted to go for another i would have to pay the extra  also they would only pay to tile above the sink and in the shower area so i had to pay for the extra tiles 
    They will not get involved with your builders or any alterations they want to do
  • helhel Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I'd happily pay their builders to do the extra work to get what I need (I can borrow it). I'm not wanting more money than they will allocate to do the bathroom as they want to do it. I just can't use that design of bathroom and it will leave me with an unusable kitchen in my house. They've gone with maximum wheelchair accessibility on the doors and the ramp, but just a level access shower for the bathroom, with no thought that I am a wheelchair user. It has no radiator in it, although the schedule of works mentions moving it. It has an electric shower when I have a gas combi boiler which will cost me far more to run. Surely in my house I should have some say when it is supposed to be helping me? Paying for extra tiles etc I wouldn't mind, if I could actually use what they are suggesting. This is he home we plan to grow old in and I don't want to waste the councils money by having a job that is OK now but no good in 18 months time so we have to do the whole thing again. I am currently having to shower at a friends house and have been since November.
  • markyboymarkyboy Member Posts: 374 Pioneering
    When a council put out tenders they quote for a specific job and will not get paid until the job has been completed as per schedule so any builders contracted to the council cannot take instructions for more work of you or change the schedule
    You have to understand councils are underfunded and have a duty to spend tax payers money wisely if you want the work done to how you want it you will have to forget the grant and finance the project yourself because the council have there own ways of converting bathrooms like electric showers are installed because they are cheaper to buy and install and you will not change their mind
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 541 Pioneering
    The cheapest and best way for all parties would be for councils to offer a voucher.
    And to place a caution on Land Registry, that the house 'owes' the taxpayer a debt, to be waived after 'x' years, if there is proof the house is still disabled friendly, even if the hideous adaptations have been replaced with something livable, and even if the original occupants have left

    And, of course, to encourage  system similar to the Irish, to raise eco standards and disabled /age friendly standards. 

    And, for disability friendly housing to be the only type allowed for planning consent, till such time as the national accessible housing stock is adequate for the vast unmet needs of the increasingly aged and disabled population 

    N.B. so called Lifetime Standards are  a fudge, and the purported minimum quota of fully disability accessible homes is routinely overcome by developers informing councils, essentially, that they simply won't comply.
  • helhel Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Have had a further meeting with the council surveyor today and he's given me good news. They will allow us to do the extension we need to and provide partial funding, equalling the amount that they would have paid to the contractors. We just have to build to the specification they would, so non slip flooring, low level or split shower screens and grab rails. All of which are needed anyway. Their contractors will do the access, door widening and flooring. 

    Agree that a voucher scheme would be far more efficient. We looked at loads of property before buying this, it was the least untouched to make it suitable for disabled and older people, the amount of bungalows that have s had a bath pulled out and a shower put in it's place which were described as accessible was astonishing. Now to sort planning!
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