Processing of Disabled Facilities Grant criticised by LGO

The Local Government Obudsman (LGO) has published a report outlining that delays in processing the Disabled Facilities Grants has left disabled people in unsuitable homes for too long.

The study outlines areas where the service is hindered and provides best practice on how to improve grant allocation schemes.

Dr Jane Martin of the LGO said: “Relatively simple changes, like accessible showers or doorways, can make a huge difference to peoples’ quality of life.

“These adaptations must be provided by housing services departments, but my experience shows many people are being let down. The stories in my report are typical of problems we see with housing adaptation complaints, and we want authorities to learn from our findings."

Responding to the report, councillor Neil Clarke, chairman of the District Councils’ Network, said: “While recognising Disabled Facility Grants are a statutory duty, district councils are keen to ensure that all the improvements they make to people’s health and wellbeing across the range of their services effectively contribute to the wider Health and Wellbeing agenda and the outcomes required by the Better Care Fund.

“The District Councils’ Network wants to work with government and county councils to reunite the statutory responsibility for Disabled Facility Grants that sits with districts, with the funding for this service. This currently sits within the Better Care Fund and goes to counties directly, causing needless bureaucracy.”

The news comes after an investigation conducted by Foundations using the Disabled Facilities Grant to carry out home adaption found it could delay someone moving into a residential care home by up to four years.