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Harlow Council to extend financial assistance available to help residents with disabilities live independently

Harlow Council / Mon 4th Dec 2023 at 08:35am

HARLOW Council is to extend the financial assistance available to help residents with disabilities live independently in their homes.

The council’s cabinet has approved a new policy which improves the way grants are offered to help residents with disabilities make adaptations in private homes. 

Currently the council can provide mandatory means tested Disabled Facilities Grants to residents with disabilities living in private housing including owner occupiers and those renting privately or from a registered social landlord. 

The council receives funding from the government via the County Council for private sector housing. The council has its own budget and a separate process for adaptations in council-owned homes. 

Adaptations funded through Disabled Facilities Grants include:

  • Stairlifts 
  • Door widening
  • Ramps
  • Graded floor showers
  • Bathroom adaptions 
  • Small home safety improvements 

Under the changes to the council’s policy, it will now have discretion to provide grants up to £15,000 without means testing, which will speed up the grants process and remove unnecessary red tape for many residents who would like help adapting their home. The changes come into effect from this month.

This will particularly help residents in private housing to discharge from hospital, or to avoid the risk of hospital admission due to falls. 

Councillor Nicky Purse, cabinet portfolio holder for sustainability and environment, said: 

“As part of our priority to improve council services we are introducing better processes and new ways of improving the lives of our residents. 

“In 2022 to 2023 the County Council allocated nearly £1m of Better Care funding to help residents with disabilities to adapt their homes and live independently. The changes we are making will extend the financial assistance available so even more residents can benefit quickly from adaptations in their home. 

“Adapting an existing home is the usually the preferred way forward for residents with disabilities and is a far better use of financial resources than alternatives such as institutional care or extended home-care packages.”

Residents can email [email protected] if they have any questions about the grants or the grants process.

Ends 

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6 Comments for Harlow Council to extend financial assistance available to help residents with disabilities live independently:

Sallykemp
2023-12-04 23:12:30

This is amazing , but you do know , that not all disabilities are visible don’t you Harlow council. Sometimes you place neurodivergent people in unsuitable accommodation, like loud flats and on high floors above the ground floor , so they have to climb stairs when their neuro pathways are unbalanced and have epilepsy and migraines. This causes them to be too scared to go out due to falling down the stairs. Also asthma and long covid and cfs are disabilities that you haven’t considered . You’ve only considered people whose limbs are disabled, not their brains , lungs , immune or nervous systems. I know a woman who has campaigned to get moved to a bungalow due to her disabilities but you won’t move her because she is fifty and not older than that, you’ve placed her in band three and she doesn’t have a chance ! The bureaucracy in Harlow council is unbelievable . You lot need to educate yourselves on the equality act and all the disabilities in that act.

stephen bailey
2023-12-05 07:15:14

Please send me more information on the procedure to gain assistance and other information I may require. This will help me to see if I am entitled to some assistance. Thank you Mr Bailey

T
2023-12-05 08:56:04

well said Sallykemp, I have neurological issues along with physical, I was placed in band three after providing a lot of information from consultants, I live in a flat and also cant live with someone above due to loud noises coming from above etc, I have been in band 3 for 4 years with no change, harlow council dont take these things seriously, seems of your not in a wheel chair or elderly you dont have a chance. you get to a point where you become so burnt out fighting with them that you just give up, I bid every week religiously and still in same position 4 years later.

Tom
2023-12-05 11:16:31

Well said I have Front focal epilepsy due to a Brain tumour I was granted a level access shower about a year ago you approved it but a week later I received a letter from harlow Council saying it it cant be done at this property so you asked me to go back onto the housing register for a transfer for a #better quality of life as I cannot use the bath due to my epilepsy... I live alone have no help and have been bidding for over a year now with no means to wash myself other than to use a flannel harlow council are a joke!!!!

YouKnowWhoIAm
2023-12-05 22:42:10

Oh no Tom and T, I am so sorry. Please don’t give up, you will get there. It took my friend ten years to get a place and she had mental health issues and was put in a bedsit in a tower block band four. She also has autism and was bullied in the tower block by bloke drug dealers (she is anti drugs by the way- they saw her as vulnerable ), which sent her over the edge and she had a meltdown. She also has a brain injury and epilepsy, migraines , asthma, cfs and anxiety depression (bipolar disorder), she is now in band three after letters from her dr backing up her case and apparently her councillor has tried to help but to no avail, they sit use their get out clause of the word: bureaucracy . She is autistic and the noise above her from the family with screaming kids is unbearable for her (four people above her living in a tiny one bed flat), , plus she has been threatened by a nutter bloke next door to her which the police have dealt with , but it doesn’t help her anxiety still living next to him. She can’t get out her flat most days due to anxiety that he will be outside and her migraines affect her balance and eyesight , plus there is always chance of a seizure. Then trying to get back up to her flat with asthma is horrendous. The council don’t care and she’s in band three m bidding each week for a ground floor place or preferably a bungalow because of her age now but she doesn’t stand a chance because Harlow council don’t care. She should be in band one! So should you Tom and T! Keep fighting your case and is there a chance Tom, you can get some support ? Could adult social services help you and bring in a carer so you can shower everyday ? Please fight your case ad don’t give up. I am so happy I bought this subject up to defend other disabilities, as not all disabled are in wheelchairs or walk with sticks. Neurological disorders should be treated equally and you need to hear us! You probably won’t though you don’t care, all you care about is your own egos and yourselves. I hate this world.

Ray
2023-12-11 08:36:40

I asked hts to fit a five foot stair rail at the top of the stairs due to struggling the last five foot of stairs due to having knee replacement surgery and was refused I'm now due to have the other one replaced any time now I have to ask my wife to help me down stairs on a regular basis as I'm prone to falls I don't like asking her as she's struggling with health issues due to on going cancer so in a no win situation.

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