Housing adaptations and disabled young people

Foundations – the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies in England has published an excellent Guide to Adaptations for Children and Young People with Behaviours that Challenge. The 45-page guide highlights the role of adaptations in meeting the needs of disabled young people – and emphasises that disabled facilities grants are not only to facilitate access to and around a property but also to make it safe for the disabled person and/or the other occupants.  The Guide has a particular focus on the needs of those with significant sensory and other impairments: needs that can often only be met by the building of an extension to a property, with the consequence that grants for young people often need to be much higher than for older people.

In addition to a design guide, there are sections on the law and the cost benefits to local authorities of funding adaptations.  The cost benefit section draws heavily on 2017 research undertaken by the Cerebra Legal Entitlements and Problem-solving (LEaP) programme at the School of Law, Leeds University in conjunction with the Access Committee for Leeds.  The research demonstrated that for every pound spent on grant funding an adaptation a unitary authority made savings of over £5.  Other research has shown even more dramatic cost benefits and this research is the subject of a presentation given by Luke Clements at the launch of the guide – and can be assessed by clicking here.

The primary law in concerning the award of Disabled Facilities Grants is the same in England and Wales (although the maximum mandatory grant is higher in Wales).  Although the primary law for social services duties to support adaptations is different in Wales – it is the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 as opposed to the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 in England – the social services obligation to support adaptations is the same (for details of the position in Wales click here).

  • To access the Foundations Guide – click here
  • To access a recording of Luke Clements’ presentation – click here
  • For a review of the law concerning adaptations and disabled facilities grants in England – click here and for Wales – click here.


Photograph of Dale, Pembroke.

Posted 27 April 2021