Disabled facilities grant (DFG) applicants in Gloucestershire are now able to choose their mobility equipment providers and installers rather than the tenders being wholly dictated by the council.
The new scheme is designed to give applicants more choice and while councils will still be responsible for processing the grants, residents will no longer be simply assigned firms.
The council has launched a new website which lists equipment providers and installers who can then be reviewed by applicants. The website will mean mobility firms have more direct access to DFG tenders.
Access and mobility companies can be included on the council’s DFG list by having a good track record in DFG work or by having acceptable references. Firms must fill out a form to apply to be listed on the website.
Cllr Stephen Hirst from Cotswold District Council said: “Residents eligible for DFGs will be able to obtain the information they need to make choices about who they appoint to do the work and will also have more control over how and when the works are carried out.
“As well as helping residents with their DFG applications, the new website pages also provides more general guidance for home owners about repair and maintenance, and advice about other funds which may be available for improvements.”
If they wish, residents will also be able to appoint a project manager to assist them with more complicated and difficult home adaptations to their homes, with fees being covered by the grant. Applicants are still referred to an OT in the first instance.