In the event that a tenant is experiencing difficulty within their flat that may be addressed by an aid or adaptation, the Association will encourage a referral to the Local Authority Occupational Therapist. The Association will endeavour to perform any works recommended by an Occupational Therapist.
Following a change in the Housing Corporation grant regime and a restriction of local authority Disabled Facilities Grants to Housing Association tenants, it is unlikely that there will be any public sector funding to perform the recommended works. In the absence of such funding, the Association will set aside its own monies each year.
The Association will automatically fund any adaptation costing up to £1500 for tenants who are in receipt of an income related state benefit. Tenants who are not in receipt of an income related state benefit will be expected to meet the cost of the adaptation themselves (although the Association will arrange for the adaptation to be performed on behalf of the tenant, if required).
In the case of adaptations costing above £1500 and in order to make the best use of limited funds, the Association will perform a ‘means test’ with the tenant concerned to ascertain whether they are able to pay for the adaptation themselves or make a contribution towards it. If the means test demonstrates that a tenant is able to make a payment for all or part of the adaptation, then performance of the works will be conditional on the tenant completing an undertaking to pay for or contribute towards the works before a contractor is appointed. The ‘means test’ applied will follow Department of Work and Pensions guidelines.
The Association cannot guarantee to make available sufficient funds each year to meet the cost of all adaptations recommended by Occupational Therapists and because the adaptation is specific to an individual, tenants will be encouraged to seek their own funding from sources external to the Association e.g. their family, charitable grant making trusts. The Association will assist the tenant as appropriate in making applications to external organisations. In the event that a tenant pays the full cost of an adaptation costing above £1500, consideration will be given as to whether the works are eligible under the Right to Compensation for Improvements scheme. Association staff can provide further details of this scheme and the steps that have to be followed in order to qualify.
The Association will arrange for certain adaptations (subject to the financial considerations above) without an Occupational Therapy Assessment, namely ‘flashing doorbells’ for tenants who are hard of hearing and hand held releases for the door entry system for tenants who have mobility problems and who would not be able otherwise to grant access to visitors/carers.
The Association will not install grab rails unless on the express, written recommendation of an Occupational Therapist, who must provide details of measurements and siting. However, if such adaptations are urgently required by a tenant and if there is a long waiting time for a Local Authority Occupational Therapist, the Association will consider appointing an independent Occupational Therapist to perform an assessment.
The Association will not fund any adaptations to flats at The Martins as these are leasehold properties. However, the Association will encourage a referral to an Occupational Therapist and will assist lessees in applying for Disabled Facilities Grant funding and other forms of grant funding open to homeowners, in obtaining quotations and supervising the works.