§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to increase the supply of independent housing available to young disabled people. 1152W
§ Mr. McNulty
Local housing authorities have a responsibility to produce a housing strategy which sets out plans to address the range of housing needs in their area. This includes all groups with special needs where the strategy must link into the provision of associated support services. Decisions on how these should be addressed are taken locally on the basis of the assessment of the nature and scale of the different housing needs.
The Housing Corporation through the Approved Development Programme (ADP) and Supported Housing Management Grant (SHMG) provide specially adapted housing and support for the disabled. The Housing Corporation through its National Investment Strategy sets out the priorities against which registered social landlords should bid for resources for both ADP and SHMG. Included in these priorities are supported housing for people with physical disabilities. The ADP is set to rise to £1.2 billion in 2003–04, almost double the planned expenditure for 2000–01.
Local housing authorities have a statutory duty to offer Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) to eligible applicants who require adaptations to help them live independently in their own homes. The grant is available to home owners and tenants in both the private and social rented sector. It is subject to a means test. The Government meet 60 per cent. of the total local authority expenditure incurred on DFGs through the payment of specified capital grant. The budget for this grant for English authorities in 2002–03 is £88 million compared with £56 million in 1997–98, an increase of nearly 60 per cent.