Funds shortage hits home work

MORE than 100 elderly and disabled residents in a town are waiting to have life-changing adaptations to their homes.

Bosses at Kettering Council have admitted they do not have the funds to meet both current and future needs in the town for disabled adaptations such as handles and chair lifts to their resident’s homes.

There are 112 elderly and disabled residents waiting for the amendments in Kettering, at an estimated cost of £648,000.

The council has revealed its sum for adaptations which comes from central Government, the Disabled Facilities Grant, will only be about £268,000 this year.

This means residents wanting adaptations could be in for a long wait, but council bosses have said they are trying to find a solution.

Cllr Derek Zanger, portfolio holder for housing, said: “It’s very concerning.

“As our capital budget goes down, waiting times for people who need adaptations goes up.

“We understand the situation and we’re working together with our partners to find a solution.

“We’re planning on talking to housing associations to see if they will contribute 50 per cent to the adaptations.

“That will allow us to fast track many of the people on the waiting list.

“Another possibility is to move people into more suitable accommodation, but for private housing residents, this could be difficult.

“We know the pressure could build more and more but we’re looking for solutions.”

The council has a statutory duty to financially assist disabled and elderly residents, in both private and council-owned houses.

The maximum grant payable is £30,000 per applicant.

Currently, 17 applicants have been approved for adaptations which will cost £256,000, but these will not be done until next financial year.