Aids & Adaptations Policy

Approved by the Exec Team: July 2020
Approved by the Board: N/A
Implemented on: July 2020
Review Date: July 2023
Service Area: Operations

1. Scope

1.1 This policy applies to all Mount Green residents who live in tenanted homes and may need an aid or adaptation to promote a greater level of independence.

1.2 Leaseholders and shared owners should contact Mount Green for advice on installing aids and adaptations in their homes.

1.3 This Policy takes into account legislation set out in the Care Act 2014, the Equality Act 2010 and The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996.

2. Aims

2.1 We aim to:

  • Ensure that the needs of our residents and their property requirements are identified
  • Assess all requests individually
  • Consider alternative housing options available for the resident to ensure they are housed suitably
  • Ensure timely information and advice is communicated following a request
  • Set out the criteria by which Mount Green will assess all requests for adaptation work
  • Ensure Mount Green builds strong relationships with external partners to enable access to services and maximise opportunities of available funding for aids and adaptations
  • Ensure there are clear channels of communication and established joint working practices with our local authority partners
  • Reconcile the expectations of residents who require adaptations with our duty to manage our housing stock effectively
  • Comply with current good practice guidance and legislation

3. Introduction

3.1 Mount Green is committed to promoting the wellbeing of individuals by ensuring they can move safely and independently around their home and can continue with their day to day life. We aim to achieve this by facilitating the effective planning, consultation and delivery of aids and adaptations through our local authority, NHS and other partnerships.

3.2 An aid or adaptation is any equipment, fitting or modification provided in order to increase a resident’s mobility, personal dignity and independence and therefore promoting an increased sense of wellbeing by improving quality of life in their own home.

3.3 The Local Authority has a legal obligation to provide aids and adaptations. The Care Act 2014 requires that aids and minor adaptations (i.e. adaptations up to the value of £1,000) must be provided free of charge to eligible people with care and support needs.

3.4 The Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 sets out rules for when a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is mandatory – up to a value of £30,000, and subject to a means test. Local authorities are under a statutory duty to provide grant aid to disabled people for a range of adaptations to their homes.

3.5 We are committed to working with our external partners to facilitate the provision of aids and adaptations under these Acts. We will also budget a small annual sum for directly assisting minor aids and adaptations, subject to a financial assessment, for those who do not meet the criteria under the Care Act 2014.

3.6 Where an aid or adaptation may be required, we will view and assess each case
individually in order to understand the needs and requirements of the individual. We will determine whether there is a statutory duty for the local authority to provide the adaptation. Additional information may be required from an Occupational Therapist or medical professional.

3.7 This policy should be in read in conjunction with your tenancy agreement as well as the following Mount Green policies:

  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Repairs and Maintenance Policy
  • Allocations Policy

4. Major and Minor Aids and Adaptations

4.1 Aids and Adaptations are split into two categories – minor and major. These distinctions are based on the nature and cost of the work required and do not correspond to the impact the alteration will have on the individual. Mount Green recognises that aids and adaptations can impact significantly on an individual’s quality of life and ability to live with increased independence.

4.2 Major Aids and Adaptations
Major adaptations are those where there will be structural alterations to the property and/or if there is a significant cost. Examples of such work, but not restricted to, may be:

  • Level access shower to replace bath
  • Permanent ramp to a doorway
  • Thermostat controlled shower over the bath
  • Stair-lift
  • Internal structural changes to doors and walls

4.2.1 Requests for major aids or adaptations which have a significant cost will be referred to the relevant local authority for funding through the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) unless the resident can finance the works themselves. Where the resident is not eligible for DFG, the resident will have to source other means of funding or consider alternative housing options.

4.3 Minor Aids and Minor Adaptations
Minor adaptations are defined as work that is not affecting the structure of the property and/or is not significant in cost. Examples of such work, but not restricted to, may be:

  • Grab rails
  • Key safes
  • Rails and extra steps to doorways
  • Lever taps to washbasin, sink and bath
  • Removing internal door thresholds
  • Additional electricity sockets for charging mobility scooters

4.3.1 The cost of these works should be covered by the local authority for qualifying people, paid for directly by the resident, or, subject to a financial assessment, residents can apply for funding through a discretional small aids and adaptations budget held by Mount Green.

4.4 Supporting Evidence
Supporting evidence from an Occupational Therapist will always be required in light of any requests for major aids or adaptations and the majority of minor aids, dependent upon the works requested. In some cases, we may require supporting evidence from another medical professional.

4.5 Refusal
Mount Green may refuse requests for aids or adaptations on the following grounds:

  • The property is not suitable for adaptations
  • The works are not considered to be reasonable
  • The adaptations of the property would significantly affect the opportunity of future lettings
  • The adaptation would involve the removal or alteration of a physical feature
  • The length of the tenancy at the time of the application
  • If the resident is under occupying the property by one or more bedrooms If there are possession proceedings against the tenant.
  • The cost of the works cannot be covered by a DFG grant or the tenant
  • The property value is affected by the works
  • If there are alternative adapted properties available that meet the individual’s needs

5. Maintenance and Replacement of Aids and Adaptations

5.1 Adapted kitchens and bathrooms

5.1.1 Where a kitchen or bathroom has been adapted, Mount Green will take responsibility for the maintenance and replacement of the facilities following the end of the warranty period.

5.1.2 Wherever possible we will replace items with like for like, but this is not always
achievable where a fixture or fitting is non-standard or no longer available. In these circumstances, we will try and find the closest match available but we will not undertake unnecessary works or full replacements simply for aesthetic reasons.

5.1.3 If a resident has replaced fixtures or fittings themselves (such as tiling, flooring etc.), we are not responsible for any repair or replacement.

5.2 Specialist Equipment

5.2.1 We will not take responsibility for the servicing, maintenance, insurance or replacement of specialist equipment such as stair-lifts, hoists and Clos-o-mats. Where these works were originally funded by DFG, residents are encouraged to claim for a second DFG to fund the works. We will consider automatic door entry systems to properties on a case by case basis depending on the specialism required and the agreement under the DFG.

5.2.2 Where there is a need for maintenance and servicing of an aid or adaptation
which has not been carried out by the resident, we reserve the right to complete the works and recharge the resident.

5.3 Re-letting our properties

If a resident leaves an adapted property, we will try to re-let it to a resident whose needs best match the type of aids and adaptations in the property. The removal of any aids or adaptations will always be a last resort.

For more information, please see our Repairs and Maintenance Policy.

6. Aids and Adaptations in Communal Areas

6.1 Where there is a collective need for an aid or adaptation within a communal area, we will consider these works in line with our Asset Management Strategy in order to maintain the value and function of the property. Any works must benefit more than one resident.

6.2 These facilities will be funded, installed and maintained by Mount Green, but would then be service chargeable to all residents within the estate, block or scheme.

7. Independent Living, Supported & Active Elderly Housing

7.1 In our independent living, supported and active elderly schemes, we may provide additional equipment as a part of the service, such as telecare alarm systems. This equipment is not optional and the provision, maintenance and servicing of this equipment is service chargeable.

8. Equality and Diversity

8.1 For Mount Green, diversity is about respecting people’s individual differences and ensuring that all people that come into contact with us have access to the same high standards of behaviour and service.

8.2 We are committed to ensuring that no resident will be treated less favourably because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation.

8.3 When assessing any requests for aids and adaptations, we will ensure that we comply with current legislation and best practice at all times.

9. Monitoring and Review

9.1 We will monitor the number of requests, approvals, rejections and appeals for aids and adaptations.

9.2 This Aids and Adaptations Policy will be reviewed every three years, and will be reviewed alongside any legislative or regulatory changes.

10. Consultation and Publicising the Policy

10.1 This policy has been consulted on via our resident engagement group.

10.2 This policy and procedure will be publicised to residents through:

  • Our Residents’ Handbook
  • Our website
  • Our tenancy review meetings