Disability grant system moves in-house at Harrogate Borough Council

Disabled Facilities Grants will now be handled by Harrogate Borough Council
Disabled Facilities Grants will now be handled by Harrogate Borough Council
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A pool of more than £620,000 to improve disabled people’s homes across Harrogate is to begin being administered in-house by the district council.

Disabled Facilities Grants will be run by Harrogate Borough Council after Cabinet gave approval on Monday, January 3. Previously the work was done by private company, Yorkshire Housing Association, for North Yorkshire County Council and five district councils. Their contract to run this however expires on March, 31.

Covering the cost of improvements in private sector housing the grants, funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, helps disabled people to remain living independently. HBC plan to absorb some members of staff from YHA and say it will be ‘a smooth transition.’

Council Mike Chambers, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:“North Yorkshire County Council has indicated it won’t be re-commissioning the contract after March 2018 and so we are bringing the administration of disabled facilities grants in the Harrogate district in-house, to ensure the service continues for the benefit of disabled people in the area.

“We believe we can continue to provide a high level of support and effectively manage the works, and are currently working with the Home Improvement Agency to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities.”

Disability Action Yorkshire say that while having no ‘negative issues’ with the previous system they hope the change will see funds as readily available for improvements which make a ‘vital difference’ for disabled people,

Chief Executive Jackie Snape said: “Disabled facilities grants can be used for a variety of adaptations, not just putting in ramps and widening doors, and can make a vital difference to a disabled persons health and wellbeing.”