How Do I Fund Home Adaptations To Make My Home Disability-Friendly?
Whether it is due to ageing, illness or an accident, living with a disability poses a range of challenges. The home should always be a safe haven, where you can go about your day seamlessly and safely, regardless of any disabilities you or your loved one may have.
For some people, there is often the option of moving house altogether and relocating to an accessible home that is already equipped for those with disabilities.
However, finding an accessible home can be challenging and waiting lists for local authority properties are long. Plus, if you have a family or spouse, staying in your existing home is usually the better option.
But this means making home adaptations to make your home disability friendly – and home adaptations can be extremely costly.
The Cost Of Accessibility
The cost of home adaptations will vary depending on your location and the types of adaptations you need. But generally, adaptations tend to be costly.
For example, purchasing a stairlift will cost on average between £1100-£5000. Purchasing an accessible walk-in shower can cost between £300-£1500 – and that’s before you think about installation prices.
And installing an accessible kitchen, with lower countertops, accessible cabinets and open spaces can cost thousands of pounds. Even the price of small adaptations can mount up.
The cost of one accessibility ramp ranges from £100-£400 and most disability-friendly homes have at least two accessibility ramps.
For an individual with profound disabilities, a modular home extension may be the best option. Designed and manufactured by the same company that produces and installs Changing Places Toilets, these modular home extensions typically include a fully accessible bedroom and bathroom.
The bathroom can be fully-equipped for those with profound disabilities and will include crucial features, such as a hoist. Modular home extensions start at £38,000.
For many households, finding the funds to pay for home accessibility adaptations can be extremely challenging.
Can I Get Funding For Home Adaptations?
Yes. In the UK, there are grants available to help you pay for the cost of home accessibility adaptions. There are also charitable organisations, such as Independence At Home, that will help you source and apply for grants.
However, whether you are eligible for these grants will depend on several factors including your household income, savings and needs.
Types Of Funding Available
Small adaptations, such as the installation of concrete ramps, grab rails and automatic outdoor lighting are often provided by your local council for free.
In general, your local council should pay for each adaptation that costs less than £1,000. This can save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. Get in touch with your local authority to find out more.
Disabled Facilities Grant
For large home adaptations, you may be eligible for the Disabled Facilities Grant – a government grant designed to help disabled people make much-needed changes to their homes. If you are deemed eligible, the Disabled Facilities Grant will pay for adaptations such as:
- Widening of doors and installation of internal and external ramps
- Improvement of access to rooms and facilities – e.g installation of stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom
- Provision of a heating system suitable for your needs
- Adaptation of heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use.
This grant is available in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whether you get the grant and how much you are entitled to will depend on your household income and savings (over £6,000). Your needs will also be taken into consideration.
You can apply for a Disabled Facility Grant if you own the property or if you are renting the property. However, if you are renting, the local authorities will have to seek permission from the property owner/landlord before any adaptations go ahead.
Similarly, if you are a landlord with a disabled tenant, you can apply for the grant.
If, for whatever reason, you are not eligible for the Disabled Facility Grant, but you still need funding to help pay for the cost of adaptations, there are other options.
For example, the Independence At Home organisation helped 600 households in 2021 by providing £230,000 worth of grants – £221,000 of these were raised in donations.
A Home Improvement Agency (HIA) can also help you find schemes and grants to help with the cost of home adaptations.