Finding a more suitable home

If you think your current home is no longer suitable, adapting it may not always be the best solution. There may be other homes already adapted or more suitable for adaptation that would suit your needs.  Moving home is a big decision. Housing Option Services have been developed across most of Dorset to provide older and disabled people with the information, specialist advice and practical support that they need to enable them to make informed choices about whether to move to a more suitable house or to stay in their existing home.

You may also wish to consider making an application for a more suitable housing association home that is already adapted or more suitable for adaptation. We manage the waiting lists for housing association properties. To be considered for a housing association home you need to make a housing application. Your occupational therapist will be able to support you with making an application for more suitable housing.

Major adaptations

If your home needs a major or complex adaptation, we can offer a Disabled Facilities Grant which can be used to pay for a range of works to help with access into and around the home or to make homes safer for a disabled person. There is a wide range of possible works, examples include ramping, provision of an accessible shower, door widening and stair lifts etc.

The grant is provided by us, Dorset Council, and is administered and delivered by The Dorset Accessible Homes Service who work closely with our Occupational Therapists. At the start of the process the Dorset Accessible  Home Service and/or your Occupational Therapist will work with you to assess what would help you. Sometimes they may recommend equipment rather than adaptation as this may suit your needs better and can be arranged quickly.

Some grants are means tested (except in the case of a grant for a disabled child), so depending on the disabled person's income and savings, they may have to contribute towards the cost of the work.

If you are a Housing Association Tenant your landlord may also set aside funds each year to pay for adaptations.

What is the grant available for?

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) are available for:

  • making it easier to get in and out of the home e.g. ramps
  • making it easier to get around the home and access to their bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen e.g. door widening or stairlift
  • help the disabled person to care for another person
  • making it easier to use the toilet, bath or shower e.g. installing a shower rather than a bath
  • to provide safe access to a part of an outdoor space e.g. garden
  • making it safer to prepare and cook food e.g. lower food preparation surface
  • improving or providing a suitable heating system
  • helping to control lighting, power or heating e.g. by relocating controls.

Who can apply?

Owner occupiers and tenants can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant. You can also apply for a grant for a disabled person who lives with you or a disabled child.

What happens if I'm not eligible for a grant to carry out the adaptation work?

You may decide to pay for the work yourself. The Dorset Accessible Homes Service can provide you with help and advice about the solutions that are best for you.

Can I do the work myself?

Yes. If you are a tenant you will need to get the permission of your landlord first, before starting any work. 

How do I make an enquiry for help or apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant?

For more information about the help available and to apply for a DFG to make your home more accessible, contact the Dorset Accessible Home Service.


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