Adaptations To Your Home

Who to contact

Civic Centre
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Contact Name
Access Team

Adaptations to Your Home

We fund adaptations to owner-occupied and privately rented properties to meet some of the special needs of disabled residents. An Occupational Therapist will visit your home to assess your needs. We may also refer you to a Social Care worker to see if there is other support available.

If you live in a South Essex Home property:

  • We can provide adaptations ranging from grab rails and portable ramps to bathrooms and kitchen adaptations to enable you to remain independent.
  • You will have to have an assessment before we make any adaptations to your home. In some cases, if it is not possible to adapt your current home, we may offer you alternative accommodation to suit your needs.

If you own your own home:

  • Disabled Facilities Grants may be available for major works to homes. You will need to have a financial assessment before any grant is given and you may have to make a contribution towards the cost of work.
  • To enquire about a Disabled Facilities Grant or other adaptations to your home please contact Southend Council via email or give them a call on 01702 215606. 
  • You will not be able to apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant if you have already had the work carried out.

Disabled Facilities Grants

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council seeks to ensure that as many people as possible receive support to allow them to remain independent. A disabled facilities grant can help towards the cost of adapting your home so that you can live safely and independently.

Am I Eligible?

A Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) can only be given for eligible works to ‘disabled persons’. A number of different definitions are applied for the term ‘disabled persons’, so don’t think you are automatically excluded.

You can apply if you, or someone living in your property, is disabled and:

  • Is either the owner or tenant of the property
  • Can certify that you, or the person on whose behalf you are applying, intend to occupy the property as your main residence throughout the grant period – currently 5 years.

Landlords can also apply on behalf of disabled tenants.

What Works Can Be Carried Out?

An Occupational Therapist will visit your home to discuss your needs, review your property and make recommendations regarding the most appropriate adaptation(s) for you.

The most common forms of adaptation carried out are for stair lifts between floor levels and improvements to bathrooms (e.g. level access shower, low level WC and wash hand basin). However, any form of adaptation can be considered to help facilitate access to and from the property, improve access internally or improve the use of the property generally for the benefit and safety of the disabled person. These may include installing ramps, widening doorways or improving a heating system suitable for the disabled person’s needs.

The Council does not seek to limit the possible works which may be considered under a Disabled Facilities Grant. However, each case will be considered on its own merits. A grant for an extension, for example, will only be given where no other alternative adaptation or move to a more suitable property is possible.

Grants will not be given where works have already been started or completed.

What Will A Grant Cost Me?

Disabled Facilities Grant contribution calculations are based on complex guidance legislated by the Government. It is therefore not possible to be specific here. However, a Test of Resources (or means test) will calculate what, if any, contribution you will be asked to make to the cost of the adaptation work to be carried out. Children’s applications and applicants on certain benefits are not means tested. Benefits known as ‘passporting’ benefits currently include guaranteed pension credit, income support, income based Job Seekers Allowance, income based Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and, as rolled out, Universal Credit. At the present time, the Council is also willing to consider, on an individual basis, applications from those in receipt of Council Tax Reduction only.

Depending on the total value of the works required, repayable grant conditions may be applied upon completion of the adaptation work for owner-occupier properties.

More information regarding the Disabled Facilities Grant provision within Southend, including more detailed information relating to eligibility, eligible works and financial information can be found here (pdf attachment).

What Shall I Do Next?

If you would like to make an application for a Disabled Facilities Grant, please ring 01702 215008 for the Council’s Adult Social Care Department, and press 1 to speak to the Access Team. They will ask you a number of questions to help determine whether you should be assessed for an adaptation. They may also be able to help you with minor adaptation work to your property at the same time.

A simple guide to the Disabled Facilities Grant process is also available to view at

DFG info last updated: 12/12/2019

If you are buying a property

  • If you are buying a property, we can tell you about adaptations that may help you.

Repairs and maintenance to adaptations

  • You are responsible for on-going repairs and maintenance of any major adaptation work provided by a Disabled Facilities Grant.
  • If you live in a South Essex Home Property, please contact the Maintenance and Repairs Helpline if your adaptations need repair.

Page last updated: 12/12/2019


Time / Date Details

When is it on

Monday to Friday

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