Agenda item


RESOLVED:   That the revised Private Sector Housing Investment Policy, to be re-named the policy to Housing Assistance Policy – Mandatory and Discretionary  attached as Appendix to the report be approved.


Reason for Decision


The intended changes made within the Private Sector Housing Investment Policy reflect the requirements of the BCF and the DFG Locality Plan. This will ensure the council works collaboratively to improve outcomes across health, social care and housing particularly focusing on reducing hospital and care admissions and supporting early discharge from hospital.

The changes will not only meet these national and local plans but will also increase the speed of processing the adaptations to meet the increase in demand.

It will create a fast-track pathway for the most vulnerable people that require discharge from hospital and residential care to a home environment where they can remain living safely and independently with a reduced care package



Cabinet considered a report, the purpose of which was to recommend changes proposed for the Private Sector Housing Investment Policy.  The Policy had not been updated since 2012 and there was a need to reflect the requirements within the Better Care Fund (BCF) and the DFG Locality plan within the policy.


A summary of the intended changes were:-


1.     Re-Name the policy to Housing Assistance Policy – Mandatory and Discretionary.


2.     The policy to cover key areas of assistance provided by the council. The assistance has been detailed into eight separate appendices. The policy provided authority for minor amendments to be made to the specific appendices by delegated power given to the relevant Director.


  1. Adapt Grant:


·        To increase the maximum grant limit to £12,000 and to add a condition of this grant that the council will demand the repayment by the recipient of part of the grant to mirror the same charge conditions within the Disabled Facility Grant legislation.

·        To Include fast tracking all hospital discharge/hospital admission/referrals received from a health professional relating to amputee or end of life cases requiring a modular ramp – exclude the means test process for those cases that would normally require the financial assessment and passport them through the application process to assist with an early hospital discharge

·        Provide all minor adaptations where the works cost £1,000 and under without a financial assessment.


4.     To create a separate Relocation Grant to a maximum of £6,000. This will offer assistance with removal costs and other associated costs.


5.     To introduce a Low Level Preventative Grant for works under £300. This will include minor adaptations and equipment provision and will target those with a health condition that would benefit from an early intervention, to prevent the need for further adaptation services in the future.


  1. To amend existing grants and loans within the policy:


·        Discretionary Adaptation Assistance – reduce loan maximum to £10,000

·        Emergency Repair Grant – increase the grant to £500

·        Safe & Secure Grant – amend eligibility in line with the Prevention grant

·        Careline Grant – amend qualifying criteria to include anyone with dementia or memory loss


7.     The formation of Housing Review Panel to make some decisions regarding policy administration - The aim of the panel is to provide a formalised system for unusual cases to be discussed and considered on their individual merits, thus promoting consistent decision making.


8.     Small projects or Initiatives – to add appendices covering any small project or initiatives that may be funded internally or externally.


In discussing the proposed changes Cabinet supported the proposals which by carrying out works to helping people to go home from hospital, then helped other people by freeing up the hospital beds or with end of life care.  It was acknowledged that the removal of the requirement for financial assessments for minor works would speed up urgent work, when the officer time spent chasing many cases was often more than the work involved.  It was also noted that the Housing Review Panel would be made up of appropriate officers, who would then report into the Cabinet Member.


RESOLVED:   That the revised Private Sector Housing Investment Policy, to be re-named the policy to Housing Assistance Policy – Mandatory and Discretionary  which is attached as Appendix to the report be approved.


Supporting documents: