Annual DFG spend in Portsmouth soars to over £1m

Portsmouth City Council gave out more than £1m in Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) last year compared with around £300,000 a decade ago.

A freedom of information request by The News revealed that the council spent 352% more on equipment such as wheelchair ramps, stairlifts and specially adapted bathrooms in 2018 compared to 2008.  

The requests also showed that demand for applications rose from 50 to 179.

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DFGs are distributed to disabled people to make their homes more accessible and can be as high as £30,000 per person.

Clare Hardwick, Portsmouth City Council’s head of private sector housing, told The News that there is now a greater demand for grants to enable more people to remain independent in their homes.

She said: “With relatively straight forward adaptations in the home, such as replacing a bath with a level access shower, or fitting a stairlift, we can help people to remain safe and improve their independence and quality of life in their own homes through DFGs.”

In the government’s October Budget, it promised an additional £55m for DFGs in England.

But there has long been criticism over the DFG application process. Many people believe that some eligible individuals are not aware of the grants and others say the application process is lengthy.

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Joe Peskett

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