Grants Available to Support Independent Living

County Durham residents with disabilities are being reminded to take advantage of home improvement grants of up to £30,000.

Durham County Council’s Home Improvement Agency helps disabled and vulnerable residents access grants to adapt their homes to meet their needs.

Disabled Facilities Grants can help to fund improvements that will enhance disabled people’s quality of life, enabling them to live in their own homes for longer.

Typical adaptations include:

  • ramps
  • level access showers
  • stairlifts
  • external lifts
  • through floor lifts
  • internal alterations
  • external alterations
  • extensions (for ground floor living)

Owner-occupiers, private rental tenants and housing association tenants are all eligible.

Kevin Shaw, the council’s Cabinet member for strategic housing and assets, said: “During the coronavirus outbreak many older and more vulnerable people have had to spend a lot more time in their homes. For many, this could continue for some time and we would like to make residents aware of the assistance available to help them make the adaptations they need to ensure their homes are safe and comfortable.

“Our Home Improvement Agency staff will help clients through the entire process, from identifying their individual needs and the adaptions that could help, all the way through to the completion of the work. I would encourage anyone who thinks they or someone they know might benefit from this support to get in touch”

As well as the grants, home improvement loans are available to anyone who owns their own home. Repayment, equity and interest free loans are on offer and can fund works including roof renewal and repairs, window and door renewal, damp proofing, electrical and heating improvements and structural work.

There is also a project management service for anyone planning adaptions in their own homes. For a small fee, a housing surveyor can design to an individual’s brief, tender, appoint contractors and project manage the work through to completion. This can be anything from small scale internal work to larger extensions, along with adaptations for disabled clients who do not qualify for grant assistance.

The Home Improvement Agency also provides advice and guidance to help people who are older and/or disabled find out about adaptions that could benefit them.

For more information about who is eligible and how to apply, visit www.durham.gov.uk/article/3373/Disabled-Facilities-Grant or

contact ddhia@durham.gov.uk or the council’s Social Care Direct team on 03000 267 979 or scd@durham.gov.uk

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