The role of home adaptations in improving later life

A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better finds that making small changes to older people’s homes, such as installing handrails, ramps and level-access showers, alongside carrying out simple home repairs, could play a significant role in relieving pressure on the NHS and social care and reduce costs by millions of pounds each year.

Download the executive summary

Download the report

DFG Grant Determination Letter 2017-18

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published the Disabled Facilities Grant Determination Letter, which includes details of each local authority's individual DFG allocation.
In a letter to LA Chief Executives, John Hall, The Housing Division's Deputy Director, announces that the total DFG allocation for 2017-18 is £431m. 
Download the DFG Grant Determination Letter

Disabled Facilities Grants for home adaptations - A House of Commons Briefing Paper

This paper provides an overview of the disabled facilities grants system in England and other help available to secure disabled adaptations in residential premises. 

Download the briefing paper

Home adaptations for disabled children

This report presents the findings of a small scale pilot study of the economic and well-being impacts of adaptations to family homes to accommodate the needs of young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Download the report and executive summary

The DFG - Before and after the introduction of the Better Care Fund

Over the last 25 years the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) has helped over 40,000 people a year to live in more accessible housing. The DFG is a means-tested grant to install showers, stairlifts, ramps or to make other changes to the home to enable disabled children and adults to lead more independent lives. It is becoming increasingly important as the population ages. It restores dignity, improves safety and makes life easier both for disabled people themselves and for their carers. It can be crucial in avoiding a move into care or in enabling someone to leave hospital.

Foundations' latest report uses the findings from a series of projects on home adaptation services, plus analysis of the LOGASnet data (annual returns to central government) to show how the DFG has developed, and to raise issues relating to grant delivery systems, funding and resource allocation. It examines how services are being reorganised since the introduction of the Better Care Fund.. 

Download the report

Main findings summary


Foundations DFG research

An investigation by Foundations has revealed the impact that government support for home adaptations can have on supporting independent living and delaying a move into residential care.

It shows that those who have had adaptations and later move into care do so some four years later than those who have not had adaptations carried out via DFG. 

The Disabled Facilities Grant – the main source of government financial support for adaptations – not only helps people to stay in their own homes for longer, it can also generate substantial financial savings. The average DFG costs less than £7,000 compared with a residential care place costing around £29,000 a year.

Download the report

Carers Strategy - Evidence submission by Foundations

In March 2016 the UK Government launched a call for evidence to support a new Strategy for Carers. This document is Foundations’ response to the call for evidence issued on behalf of the home improvement sector.

Download our response

DFG summit report

In December 2015, Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists held a DFG summit that brought together Occupational Therapists, HIA managers, Grant Officers, Government officers and leading policy people to discuss good practice in the delivery of the DFG.

The follow-up report is a summary of the main points brought up on the day together with some apposite case studies showing what works well now. 

The report calls for:

  • The creation of co-located teams of HIA staff and occupational therapists to ensure better communication and create a seamless service for clients around DFG work
  • Linking up IT systems within social care and housing so the impact of DFGs on a person’s care needs can be accurately measured
  • An increase in maximum grant to take account of inflation – the current limit of £30,000 hasn’t changed for five years. Eligibility criteria should be standardised by either including housing costs or adopting the social care means test
  • Using the NHS Number when recording information as recommended by the Better Care Fund. This will allow for a single reference for people at all stages of the process
  • Use of a Trusted Assessor approach for simple cases to allow occupational therapists to employ their skills with more complex cases. This will allow simple adaptations to be fast-tracked through the system.

Download the DFG summit report

Evidence of cost benefits 

Better outcomes, lower costs: implications for health and social care budgets of investment in housing adaptations, improvement and equipment – a review of the evidence Heywood, FS & Turner, L, (2007) for Office for Disability Issues, Department of Work and Pensions