Proposals for new disabled grant applications

A DECISION on disabled home adaptations in the Filey area is set to be discussed by councillors next week.

Scarborough Council’s Cabinet will discuss the new policy aiming to make rules clearer for officers to follow the associated legislation.

In a report approved by Andy Skelton, the council’s head of environmental services, housing manager Andrew Rowe said that in November 2009, the council adopted a priority system to handle applications for Disability Facilities Grants and it had been running effectively.

He said: “Further to the adaptation of that system officers have realised that a broader policy is required to assist with the interpretation and implementation of legislation relating to the adaptation on homes for disabled people.

“Historically, officers have used legislation to inform practice and decision making, however, the council had no single written policy in respect of Disability Facilities Grants.”

The new policy aims to clarify:

l eligibility criteria and the Home Improvement Agency and occupational therapists

l obligations of the council and grant recipients

l the application process and information needed

l how the prioritisation system works

l the ability of the council to discharge its duties by re-housing applicants to more suitable housing

l the process to follow if an application is refused

l the council’s charging policy.

Mr Rowe added: “It is the view of your officers that this new policy document provides clear guidance in relation to the Disability Facilities Grants and mitigates the council against the potential risk of legal challenge against decisions made.”