Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health): 14th January 2013    

Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection):

16th January 2013

Report of the Director of Development Services

Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of people with Impairments

Purpose of the Report

1.             To consider the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document.


1.             THAT Committee endorses the report and refers the same to Cabinet for consideration and approval of the following recommendations.

2.             THAT the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments is approved.

3.             THAT the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety be given delegated authority to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document, as appropriate.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             In order that the views of the Committees are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

2.             To provide clear information to officers and the public on the criteria to be used when assessing and funding major adaptations.

3.             To enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsmen and similar rulings.


2.             Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 the Council has a statutory duty to provide Disabled Facilities Grants.  These grants fund major adaptations to the homes of people with impairments to enable them to live as independent as possible.

3.             The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Housing Renewal Policy 2011-13 details the Council's policy for Disabled Facilities Grants.  During 2011/12 123 Disabled Facilities Grants were completed at an average cost of £9,744.

4.             The delivery of this grant is monitored through a national Performance Indicator.  This considers the days it takes to deliver the adaption works from the 1st point of contact through to the time the works are certified complete.

5.             Over the last few years officer time and financial resources have been invested to secure improvements.  This investment has been reflected in a year-on-year improvement in the delivery of the service as our performance over the last 3 years demonstrates.

Financial year

Time to deliver a DFG from 1st point of contact to completion of work (National Performance Indicator)


802 days


569 days


399 days

2012/13 - Q2

333 days


Relevant Issues and Options

6.             People who are struggling to live independently can contact the Council to request assistance.  Occupational Therapists carry out assessments on these people to determine need, and where appropriate assist meeting that need by providing equipment, installing minor adaptations to the their home or refer the case to the Disabled Facilities Team for a major adaptation.

7.             The demand for major adaptation to peoples' homes is likely to increase as the population of older people increases and medical advances improves life chances. Against this increase in demand is the pressure to manage capital budgets.

8.             As part of a wider programme of improvements to improve the service to clients and to manage the likely increase in demand for service, the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptations of Homes of People with Impairments has been developed. 

9.             The proposed Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptations of Homes of People with Impairments document is attached as Appendix 1 to this report.

10.        The document sets out guidance on the technical criteria for adaptations.  The aim of this document is to:

·         provide a consistent approach across all cases and enhance quality control,

·         provide information to the public to ensure the Council's decisions on eligible grant funded work are transparent

·         set out and detail an appeals procedure for service users who are not happy with a decision made on eligible grant funded work, and

·         help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on the service.

11.        This guidance will be used by the occupational therapist and the disabled facilities team when determining what work will be eligible for grant assistance. This guidance will also be made available to the public to help understanding on the decisions made regarding eligible works.  The document also sets out an appeal process for clients who are not happy with the assistance offered.

12.        It is proposed that any future changes to the document can be made by the Director of Development Services and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, as necessary and appropriate.

13.        Additional reports will be presented to Cabinet during 2013 recommending further changes to the service to continue to improve the quality and timeliness of the service.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.        There is an identified capital budget for the approval and payment of Disabled Facilities Grant.  For 2012/13, this budget is £1 million. This budget is bid for on an annual basis.

15.        The implementation of this guidance should help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on capital funding.  This guidance can be delivered within existing resources.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16.        This document seeks to minimise the adaptation work to that required to meet assessed need and where possible to make provision within the property's existing footprint.  Current building regulations will also ensure that the sustainability criteria of the adaptations meets that which is required.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.        The Council has a statutory obligation to approve Disabled Facilities Grants under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18.        There are no crime or disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.        Consideration has been given in the guidance to equal opportunities.  Provisions for adaptation will be based on assessment by the Occupational Therapist.  Provisions of the adaptation within the property will be based on property layout and family make up.  Ethnic or Cultural needs will not be considered but if appropriate, advice will be sought on a cases by case basis from community or religious advisors.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20.        Housing

To provide better access to affordable, good quality, suitable housing and deliver effective housing advice, support and prevention services. 

Providing support and advice

Assist people to live independently in their homes by reducing the time taken to deliver Disabled Facilities Grants and delivering the Accessible Homes Policy.

Policy Framework and Budget

21.        This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.        This report is not ward specific and as a result no Ward Member consultation has been undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

23.        Social Care and Health

24.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Elen Probert, Principal Housing and Pollution Officer 01446 709833


Officers Consulted

Operational Manager - Legal Services

Principal Finance Officer

Operation Manager - Adult Locality Services

Head of Service - Adult Services


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services.