8 September 2023
DHSC announcement: £50 million to help older and disabled people live more independently – and cut waiting times

The Government has allocated £50 million to local authorities to help older people and those with disabilities to live safely and independently in their own homes.

Eligible people can apply to their local authority for funding from the Disabled Facilities Grant to adapt their home to better meet their needs. This will support 50,000 people a year and help people to be discharged from hospital more quickly – cutting waiting times.

The grants are available to homeowners, private renters and people in social housing, and funding comes on top of the annual £573 million already provided to local authorities for home-improvement services. Since 2010, there have been almost half a million home adaptions, backed by £4.8 billion in funding.

The £50 million is the first part of a £102 million investment to be made over two years, which will enable local authorities to provide additional services that are agile, make minor adaptations quickly, and support speedier hospital discharge. It was announced as part of the Next Steps to Put People at the Heart of Care plan.

Providing suitable adaptations to homes, such as wheelchair ramps, handrails, stairlifts or specialist equipment, will mean that when someone is medically fit to be discharged, they will have somewhere safe to be discharged to, freeing up hospital beds for those who need them. This will help to reduce waiting times – which will be particularly important as the health service approaches the winter months.

The Disabled Facilities Grant is one of a range of housing support measures that a local authority can use to help enable people to live independently and safely at home. The Government also provides guidance to local authorities to help them effectively and efficiently deliver home adaptations and best serve the needs of older and disabled people in their local communities.