HC Deb 30 April 1999 vol 330 cc285-6W
Mr. Efford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will review the regulations that prevent local authorities from accepting a financial contribution from clients towards the cost of adaptations for the disabled with the objective of allowing them a choice in how their needs are met. [82407]

Mr. Raynsford

Local authorities are responsible, under Part I of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, for paying disabled facilities grants towards the cost of disabled adaptations. Whilst the Act places no restrictions on the type of adaptation that may be eligible for grant assistance, it does require authorities to satisfy themselves that the works are necessary and appropriate for the occupant and that they are reasonable and practicable, given the age and condition of the building. These requirements are necessary to ensure that public money is used effectively, and we have no plans to change them. However, local authorities are required in Guidance to involve the disabled occupant in discussions about the adaptation scheme, and we would expect applicants to be offered a choice where this is appropriate. The amount that the applicant is expected to contribute towards the cost of the adaptations is determined by a means test, but there is nothing in the Act to prevent applicants from paying for additional work from their own resources.