Landlords and tenants are being encouraged to apply for new funding to help older and disabled people make adaptations in their homes so they can continue to live independently.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has announced a £50 million fund that will be available as Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) from local authorities in England, providing a tenant is living in the property that needs an adaptation. These grants can be used to fund up to £30,000 of works.
The cash boost follows the government’s call for evidence on the Older Persons’ Housing Taskforce and Disabled People in the Housing Sector which Propertymark says it used to encourage improved access and better promotion of the grants to private landlords and their agents to ensure more PRS property is accessible.
It believes local authorities should be required to improve understanding of the number and needs of disabled people in their area, with data informing local development plans to ensure the right type of housing is provided.
Propertymark says although tenants with disability issues need to be living in a property to access the DFG, landlords and their agents should consider ways they can future-proof their businesses by providing housing to the growing number of older and disabled people accessing the PRS.
According to the Older Person’s Taskforce for Housing, there are 12.4 million people in Great Britain aged over 65 (18% of the population), which is projected to rise to 20.4 million by 2041.
The agent group adds: “We also used the call for evidence as an opportunity to reaffirm our call for a better relationship between local authorities and private landlords. One opportunity to do this could be that local authorities keep a database of adapted properties that they could signpost tenants to suitable properties.”