Funding Adaptations to the home
A guide for housing Association Tenants
This Guide details the help that may be available to make changes to your home to make it easier to get around
Is this leaflet for you?
- Do you rent your home from a Registered Social Landlord ( RSL) (Housing Association)?
- Are you, or a member of your household disabled, or having problems getting around?
- Does your home need changed so that it meets your needs? Or the needs of someone else in your household?
- Are the changes needed essential?
If you answer ' yes' to any of these questions, then you may be able to get help.
Everyone can get information and advice about their mobility problems. Your Housing Association will look at the difficulties you are facing and tell you about any help available to you.
But be aware!
Housing associations have their own policies on the assistance they provide, so the help available will vary depending on where you live.
Do you rent your home from the Council or privately? Do you own your home? You can also get help. But the arrangements are different. Ask for the leaflet which applies to you or go to www.scotland.gov.uk.
The work must be essential
The help described in this leaflet is available to pay for changes to your home, such as widening doors, fitting ramps or sensory impairment equipment. You should approach your landlord for advice on what help is available.
There are also different arrangements for getting help with moveable equipment, such as a shower chair. Contact your local Social Work Department for further information.
Involves significant changes to your home e.g.:
- Widening doors and fitting a ramp for wheelchair access
- Replacing the bath with a shower
- Fitting lower work surfaces to make the kitchen easier to use
Your local Housing Association will advise on the full range of adaptations they fund.
The work to your home must be essential. In other words, you must need to have the work done to make your home suitable for you, or someone in your household with mobility issues.
There is no set list of the type of work which is essential. But it will always include:
- Fitting 'standard amenities', such as a bathroom or toilet.
- Your housing association will only make changes to your house assessed as essential
- Changing these 'standard amenities', where this is needed so that you, or someone in your household, can use them.
- Other essential changes to the structure of your home so that it meets your needs.
What help is available?
[ Your housing association will only make changes to your house assessed as essential]
- Your Housing Association, or local social work services, will provide you with information and advice on what support is available to you. They will also advise you on how to get your needs assessed.
- The assessment will usually be carried out by an Occupational Therapist, and will identify what you need help with and suggest possible ways of meeting your needs, including adaptations to your home.
- The assessment will also consider if you are eligible for help and how urgently you need it.
- Your housing association will make any essential changes to your home to meet your assessed needs. They will organise and pay for these works, subject to the availability of funding, and should consult you during the design process.
- Your housing association receives funding from the Scottish Government to pay for this work.
But be aware!
If your case is assessed as a low priority you may have to wait some time for assistance
Limited budgets could also potentially delay any work starting
Organising and paying for the work yourself
You can choose to organise the adaptations yourself. However, organising this type of work can be complicated and time consuming - most tenants prefer their landlord to do this for them.
Adaptations sometimes improve the property and increase its value. A tenant who has paid for these adaptations can apply for compensation when they give up their tenancy. Further information on your rights is available from your landlord.
You must seek your landlords consent before beginning any work!
Your landlord can withhold consent, but must have good reason to do so. When giving consent your landlord can impose certain conditions, such as asking to comment on plans or removing the adaptation when you move out.
Moving to a more suitable property
Occasionally it may not be possible to adapt your current home to meet your needs. This can happen for reasons such as:
- There is not enough space to make the necessary changes
- The way your house is built may make it very difficult or impossible to change
In some situations your landlord may suggest other solutions. Occasionally, they may suggest that you might like to think about moving to a different property. Your housing association will help you to find another suitable property.
Need some extra support?
If you feel that you might need some independent support to take you through this process you can ask for the help of an advocate.
Advocacy services support people to represent their own interests. Where this is not possible, the advocate will represent your views.
You can get more information on Advocacy Services, and search for an advocate in your local area, on the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance's website at www.siaa.org.uk.
What if I am not happy?
If you are not happy with the decisions made about your care needs, or your eligibility you can complain to your housing association.
To make a complaint contact your landlord, they will advise you on how to progress your complaint.
Other sources of advice
Living Made Easy is an impartial advice and information website about daily living equipment and other aspects of independent living developed by the Disabled Living Foundation.
Care Information Scotland - Helpline 08456 001 001
Care Information Scotland is a helpline and website that has been set up to provide comprehensive information on community care for older people in Scotland
AskSara - www.asksara.org.uk
Ask Sara is an easy to use online self help guide that is particularly useful if you are not sure what help is available.
Ownership Options - www.ownershipoptions.org.uk
Ownership Options helps disabled people to resolve their housing issues, by working on finding tailored solutions for individuals. They work across housing sectors, including private and social renting, however, their focus is on home ownership.
Money Made Clear - www.Moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk or call 0300 500 5000. Money Made Clear is an independent advice service from the Financial Services Authority.