The Cabinet Member with the Adults Portfolio introduced the report of the Group Director of People (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the updatedDisabled FacilitiesGrantPolicyandRegulatoryReform OrderPolicy2022/25 (also previously circulated).
The submitted report stated that the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) was a means tested statutory grant provided by the Government to undertake adaptations to homes such as walk in showers, stair lifts, ramps, or building extensions for disabled adults or children to enable them to live independently in their own homes; the grants were governed by housing legislation and therefore had set guidance and eligibility criteria which governed how funding could be allocated; historically those conditions had restricted the way in which funding could be released which resulted in year-on-year underspends on the budget; the Government had increased the DFG grant paid to local authorities nationally; and that this increase in allocated Government funding, together with carry forward amounts, had resulted in a DFG budget for 2022/23 of approximately £2.6M.
It was reported that the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) Order gave local authorities permission to broaden the scope of how DFG’s were used to support housing renewal and assist with improving housing conditions. The proposed updated Darlington DFG policy had been developed in a way which would enable the Council to make use of the powers provided under the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) Order and use the funding in an appropriate way, to the benefit of residents.
RESOLVED - Thatthe Disabled Facilities Grant Policy 2022/25 and the associated Housing Assistance Policy under the Regulatory Reform Order (2022), as appended to the submitted report, be approved.
REASONS – (a) Toenablethe adaptationsfor thoseindividuals who are eligible toreceivea DisabledFacilitiesGrant for2022/23 toproceed.
(b) TheupdatedDisabledFacilitiesGrantPolicyandRegulatoryReform Order Policy will allowtheCounciltocreateanenvironmentof greater innovationandflexibilitytomaximisethebenefit of DFGfunding.