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Funding change could encourage more home adaptations in Torfaen

A Woman in wheelchair Cooking in the Kitchen

THE amount of non-means tested funding available for people to make adaptations to their homes in Torfaen will be increased.

Disabled Facilities Grants allow people to make housing adaptations which enable them to stay in their homes for longer. In Torfaen, any works costing more than £5,000 have been subject to means testing, but, following a decision by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, this will now be raised to £8,000.

The decision comes following a move by Welsh Government to remove means testing for small and medium grants.

Increases in the costs of building works has also meant that “a significant number” of requests have been refused in Torfaen due to exceeding the £5,000 threshold, according to a council report.

Cllr David Daniels, executive member for adult services and housing, said the decision would allow more people to carry out adaptations without having to worry about the costs.

“It will hopefully mean that more people will live safely and happily in their homes,” he said.

Eunice Jones, group manager for change management, sustainability and system support at Torfaen council, said the authority expects there could be “an increase in demand” following the move.

The change is a step towards removing means testing for all small and medium sized works, following the Welsh Government requirement.

The council will monitor the impact on budgets before making any further changes.

Home adaptations allow more people to stay in their homes independently, without requiring care. Adaptations could include installing a stair lift, improving access to rooms, adding a downstairs bathroom, or a walk-in shower.

A grant can cover the cost of a major adaptation in part or whole up to £36,000.

The increase in non-means tested grants in Torfaen will be backdated to June 1 of last year.

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Funding change could encourage more home adaptations in Torfaen