Contact calls for increase in the Disabled Facilities Grant

3 mins read

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Tags: disability, housing, disabled facilities grant

Contact would like to see an increase in the amount of money disabled households can get towards adapting their homes.

Currently families can claim up to £30,000 through the Disabled Facilities Grant if they are assessed as needing adaptations to their home, such as installing a stair lift or putting in a downstairs bathroom. This amount has been capped since 2008 and due to the increased cost of equipment and building work, it is now worth a lot less in real terms.  


Anna Bird, Chief Executive at Contact, said: “This is an area of huge frustration for families. We hear from many having to make up the shortfall through fundraising. Many are carrying on with inappropriate housing – carrying children up and down stairs, bathing children in paddling pools in their living room.

“Our research found that over a quarter of families with disabled children say that their home makes their child’s condition worse or puts them at risk. This can send families into crisis, and we know the costs of helping families at that point are much, much higher. Getting the right equipment and environment so families can look after their child at home, saves money in the long run.”

Longer-term solution needed

An external review commissioned by the government in 2018 recommended that the upper limit of the Disabled Facilities Grant should rise in line with inflation. The government did put an additional £100 million into the pot for Disabled Facilities Grants in 2023 for two years, but Contact believes a longer-term solution is needed.

One family, Contact is in touch with through our Decent Homes campaign, has been waiting two years for adaptations to give Finlay, aged 17, the independence he needs. Although the family has been assessed as needing adaptations, the council will only pay £40,000 towards the costs, which are £94,000.

He can’t access the kitchen

Mum, Alexa, said: “I work full-time as a teacher and we are maxed out on our mortgage, so we can’t meet the shortfall. The house doesn’t work for Finlay, he can’t get into the kitchen, he can’t get to the fridge. A local company gifted us a festival toilet which is a portakabin on the back of the house. We are really grateful but it’s not a long term solution, as it’s freezing in winter.”

The parliamentary group, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, has recently launched a parliamentary inquiry looking at housing for disabled people.

The aim of the inquiry is to look at ways to ensure disabled people have access to accessible and adaptable housing in England.