Foundations Webinar, Tuesday 25 January 2022
A 10-year vision for adult social care was set out in a new white paper with implications for housing adaptations and the DFG.
Almost three months after the Health and Social Care Levy was passed in the House of Commons, the government has released ‘People at the Heart of Care: adult social care reform white paper’.
Chapter Four of the paper titled: “Providing the Right Care, in the Right Place at the Right Time” outlines the government’s aims and proposals regarding, amongst other things, housing adaptations and the Disabled Facilities grant (DFG).
The central ambition noted in this chapter is to “give more people the choice to live independently and healthily in their own homes for longer.”
Major proposals relevant to the home adaptation and DFG sector
Several important proposals were made including:
- A commitment to fund £570 million per year (2022–23 to 2024–25) for local areas to deliver the DFG.
- Updated DFG guidance to be published by government to advise local authorities on the efficient and effective delivery of DFGs.
- A fund to deliver new minor repairs and adaptations; effectively funding for handyperson services.
- £300 million to be allocated to integrate housing into local health and care strategies, with a focus on increasing the range of new supported housing options available.
A public consultation on the recommendations of the 2018 DFG Review is planned for 2022 and will look at:
- The allocation of DFG funding to local authorities.
- The maximum amount a DFG can pay for a single adaptation.
- How best to align the means test with the social care charging announced in the aforementioned Health and Social Care Levy in September 2021.
General government intentions
Aside from these proposals, the white paper also contains general government intentions regarding the DFG.
The government wants to encourage local housing authorities to take advantage of the opportunities for coordination and collaboration that the Better Care Fund offers to “make sure that people can quickly access the adaptations they need, in a way that is coordinated with other practical support they receive.”
Furthermore, the paper outlines that government wishes to raise awareness and utilise the growth of affordable technologies that can increase the accessibility of the home, such as smart devices, personal alarm systems and sensor technologies.
They also want to ensure that new builds are more accessible. The government are “currently considering responses to their consultation on accessibility standards and will set out the next steps in due course.”
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