25 June, 2009




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Home Is Where The Heart Is

Service families are often required to be more mobile than their civilian counterparts. This can be particularly challenging for families affected by disability. Whether you own your own home, or rent a Service Quarter you may need to consider making adaptations to make life easier.


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Your Home
Should you own your own home it will be likely that you have already begun making adjustments to improve your environment. However you may wish to look at what options are available to you and exactly what funding may be available.

 



Local Authority Duties
Local social services departments and housing authorities will assess what improvements and adaptations you may need in order to live more independently in your own home. This is particularly important if your partner is likely to be absent for long periods of time.

Local authorities are legally required to provide Disabled Facilities Grants to eligible applicants needing to adapt housing for disabled people. You will be required to undergo means testing and may be required to contribute to the overall costs, depending on your financial situation.


Disabled Facilities Grants
Disabled Facilities Grants are available to both owners and tenant in private and social housing sectors (in England) to a limit of £25, 000. Grants are awarded only after an assessment, normally by an occupational therapist, detailing what adaptations are needed.

website Web site: Disabled Facilities Grants


Additional Help
You may also be able to access further financial assistance from you local council. These include low cost loans as well as grants to private homeowners and residents to assist with renovations, repairs and adaptations.

website Web site: Family Fund - For Families with Children with Disabilities


Naval Funding
Also, as a member of a Service family, you may be entitled to funding from Royal Naval or Royal Marine charities and funds. These may offer additional assistance in adapting your home, help to resolve a financial crisis, or assistance in funding respite childcare.

info More Information: Naval Charities


Home Improvement Agency
If you are arranging to have work carried out you may be able to get help from a Home Improvement Agency. These are non-profit making organisations offering free advice, and assistance in organising work and finances, as well as helping you find an architect, builder or surveyor as required. These organisations are governed by "FOUNDATIONS", a UK wide co-ordinating body who will be able to give you more details about a Home Improvement Agency in your area.

website Web site: FOUNDATIONS Homepage

website Web site: Helpful Contacts for Independent Living

website Web site: Find Your Local Authority

website Web site: Disabled Living Centres Council


Your "Family Quarter"
Many people live in Service Family Quarters. These Service provided homes are ideal for families who experience the need to remain mobile. However keeping mobile can mean that making the adaptations you need becomes problematic. The Defence Estates Housing (DE Housing) have a considerable number of properties countrywide which have already been adapted to meet the requirements of disabled occupants. There is no central database of adapted properties throughout the country. However, records are held within the Regions.

DE Housing recognises that it has an obligation to assist occupants with disabilities by adapting accommodation, where required, to meet individual needs. This recognition has been further underlined by the recent introduction of Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). DE Housing will meet the majority of costs as long as the licensee is a serving person, and the disabled person is a resident family dependent.

As in privately owned or rented homes, Local Authorities have a responsibility to provide an assessment and funding, where necessary, for any adaptations that are needed.

In these circumstances the DE Housing has a facilitating role with regards to liaising with social services, occupational therapists and other professionals and bodies involved in adapting your home.

Even though you are renting Service accommodation you are still entitled to apply to the local authority for a Disabled Facilities Grant. Disabled Facilities Grants are available to both owners and tenants in private and social housing sectors (in England) to a limit of £25, 000. Grants are awarded only after an assessment, normally by an occupational therapist, detailing what adaptations are needed.

Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) provides disabled people with important rights of access to both statutory and consumer services. This includes your Service Accommodation, therefore the Housing Directorate is required to ensure your accommodation is fully accessible to your needs.


Sources of Information and Advice

website Web site: More info on Disabled Facilities Grants

website Web site: Housing Directorate of Defence Estates

website Web site: Helpful Contacts for Independent

website Web site: Find Your Local Authority

website Web site: Disabled Living Centres Council

website Web site: Time To Get Equal - Countering Discrimination

website Web site: The National Association for Special Educational Needs


Disablities Rights Commission (DRC)
The DRC provide advice and support to anyone disciminated against because of disability, helping you secure and uphold your civil rights.

website Web site: Disability Rights Commission - Countering Discrimination


 


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