Home Assistance Policy 2023-2026


The condition of our home has an impact on our mental, physical, and social well-being. The quality and suitability of our home can affect all elements of our life, including our health, our prospects and our ability to interact and contribute to the community around us.

The Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 introduced wider discretionary powers to local authorities to develop different forms of financial assistance to meet local needs and in order to do so requires the authority to publish a policy setting out how it intends to use this general power to give assistance and improve living conditions in a way that best suits local circumstances and within financial resources available.

This Home Assistance Policy therefore sets out the financial assistance available for residents of North Lincolnshire in order for people to remain living independently in safe and healthy homes.

The Care Act 2014 states that local authorities must provide or arrange services, resources or facilities that maximise independence.

The Disabled Facilities Grant Order 2009 states that the local authority has a statutory duty to provide adaptations to homes for people with disabilities. Funding for these adaptations is provided through Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding.

DFG Guidance 2022 states that where the social care authority determines that a need has been established it is their duty to assist, even when the housing authority is unable to approve or to fully fund an application. So, for example, where an applicant who is eligible for assistance) is assessed as needing an adaptation which is outside the scope of the statutory DFG duty, then the social care authority can provide it.

We share the Government’s view that homeowners have the prime responsibility for repairing and improving their home. However, we recognise that on occasions, owners may not have the resources readily available to remedy significant and urgent health and safety hazards and in those situations, we have a role to play in providing access to good quality information and advice and to suitable sources of funding.

This Home Assistance Policy identifies the forms of financial and other assistance that are available from the Council to assist vulnerable homeowners, those in privately rented accommodation and disabled adults and children to repair, improve or adapt their homes. We are committed where possible to helping people remain within their existing home environment where possible.

The policy outlines broadly the eligibility criteria and the terms on which assistance may be provided, however, the full terms and conditions related to each form of assistance are available on request.

Our priority is for funding to be provided to those children and adults applying for a mandatory disabled facilities grant that will adapt their home to their needs and ensure they and their carers are safe. All other forms of assistance are discretionary and are therefore subject to the availability of funding.

This policy aims to ensure that the most cost effective and value for money solutions are accurately targeted at those with the greatest need to deliver improved health and care outcomes.

The Council will work with the following key partners in order to deliver this policy:

  • Housing associations
  • Occupational therapists
  • Private landlords
  • Homeowners
  • Local contractors and specialist equipment providers
  • Health and social care leads
  • Voluntary and community sector organisations

This policy replaces any previously adopted Home Assistance Policy.

Strategic alignment

The Government have allocated the council disabled facilities funding through the Better Care Fund illustrating the key role that disabled facilities grants play in health and social care and improving health outcomes.

Most disabled people (all ages) live in general, non-specialist housing and so home adaptations play a key role in enabling safe, healthy, independent living at home.

The quality and suitability of the home environment is particularly important for people with disabilities, older people, those living with a chronic disease or the consequences of a serious injury, and those who experience functional and cognitive difficulties.

In addition, home adaptations can help to reduce risk of injury, stop admission to hospital, enable faster hospital discharge, delay the onset of admission to residential care and reduce health and social care costs,. Studies show that the home environment is a quantifiable determinant of health, quality of life and well-being.

The Home Assistance Policy provides an ideal opportunity to consider how to integrate provision of help with home adaptations across housing, health, and social care systems. There is clear evidence to show the high-cost benefits of disabled facilities grants and the key role of home adaptations in prevention.

This Home Assistance Policy aligns well with the adult strategy Keeping people in their own Homes families Jobs and Communities as well as the North Lincolnshire Strategic Intent ambition agreed with place partners. The ambition is for North Lincolnshire to be the best place for all our residents to be safe, well, prosperous and connected, experiencing better health and wellbeing.

Our priorities

The following are our key aims for the policy and feed directly from the adult strategy Keeping people in their own homes families jobs and communities priority of Promoting Independence and Embedding Integration:

  • Improve the health outcomes of vulnerable people living in poor housing
  • Improve the safety and security of older people and other vulnerable groups living in their home
  • Contribute to preventing avoidable poor health and accidents, such as falls arising in housing occupied by vulnerable people
  • Promote personalisation and the idea of social prescribing to support independent living for vulnerable residents
  • Achieve consistently high levels of customer satisfaction in relation to performance across all activities
  • To ensure fair and equitable access to our services to deliver our key outcomes
  • Establish strong links with local partners to maximise the services offered by organisations, including the voluntary and community sector
  • To support the wellbeing of carers.

Maximising our impact and supporting the most vulnerable

Our interventions need to be targeted to ensure that we are assisting the most vulnerable residents to improve their homes and achieve quantifiable health outcomes. We know that our population is aging and that the number of disabled children and adults is increasing. We therefore recognise going forward that there are key needs for older residents, residents with disabilities and the frail and frail elderly. Other types of vulnerabilities include people on low income, in receipt of means tested benefits and those with significant health conditions. The policy and our services are targeted therefore at these particular groups of residents whilst encouraging self-dependence for all others.

Home assistance

Home Assistance, assists vulnerable people to remain safe, healthy, secure, and independent in their own home. The assistance we offer extends to all tenure groups but is targeted at those most in need.

The main objectives of Home Assistance is to:

  • Enable older people and people with disabilities to stay in their own home for as long as possible regardless of whether they own it or are a tenant
  • Avoid the need for premature moves into institutional care and to assist in the discharge of people from hospital
  • Maintain and improve the quality of life for older and disabled homeowners and tenants
  • Assist the client group to maintain a level of comfort and security, promoting their physical and mental well-being
  • Provide a safe home for disabled children and their families where they can grow and learn.

In doing so, the services we currently provide go beyond those provided in pursuance to our statutory duties. In so doing, we provide essential services that no other public body, service or third party provide.

Below is a summary of the services provided by the Home Assistance Team:

Design and Support Offer

This offer is available to all those applying for a disabled facilities grant. We can assist you to complete your application form and ensure all the necessary documentation is provided. The technical surveyors will prepare the necessary plans, schedules of work, liaise with social services (where appropriate) and the Occupational Therapy service, obtain statutory permissions (where appropriate), obtain quotations for the work, liaise with contractors on your behalf, and pay the contractor direct, upon satisfactory completion of the works.

Self-Design and management

People have the option of engaging their own Architect to design adaptations for their home and use their choice of contractors. The funding allocation will be given through a direct payment.

Where the Home Assistance Team receive a recommendation for adaptations and the person/family wish to make this a larger scheme or design in a different way, they have the option of engaging their own architect/contractors.

This will enable people to have more control over the works carried out in their own homes.

Subject to the availability of resources, and demands upon the service, in exceptional circumstances we may consider providing a bespoke agency package for a fixed fee for those homeowners wanting to design and part fund their own adaptations / over and above the schemes the council would normally design.

The council charges an agency fee on most grants/loans to help cover the cost of resources.

Home Funding Assistance for other grants/loans

This offer is available to all clients eligible for general improvement assistance. The offer supports a home visit by a dedicated officer to talk through the options available, provide relevant financial information, assist with the completion of application forms, and gather any necessary supporting documentation. Technical support is also provided as per the adaptations service.

We are unable to provide funding for large-scale improvements or repair schemes. Homeowners looking to undertake such projects will be directed to other sources of financial advice/funding.

Handyperson scheme

The advantages of a handyperson scheme are that it is flexible, responsive to clients’ needs and provides a cost-effective service within short time periods. Keeping the frail and frail elderly safe at home often involves only minor, non-complex aids and adaptations that do not require structural alterations, e.g., provision of a handrail. In such cases, to go through the DFG process would be unnecessarily complex and time consuming. The handyperson service allows minor adaptations to be completed quickly, at short notice so hospital discharge is not delayed and at low cost resulting in a significant saving to other parts of the health and social care system.

Where capacity allows, our service assists vulnerable clients with small-scale maintenance and repairs around the home. We also work in partnership with other agencies to provide these universal offers and signpost accordingly. A charge is made for these types of jobs. However, there may be a reduced rate for the frail and elderly if in receipt of means tested benefits.

General Advice/Housing Support Services

We can signpost and offer to link up with other partners to link people with further advice and support as required e.g., benefit checks, fire safety measures, home safety/hazard assessment, alternative housing options and general day-to- day support/assistance as necessary.

Independent Living

Equipment provision aims to ‘reduce and/or delay’ needs from developing at the earliest stage, reduce the likelihood of premature entry into formal type services and support people with changing needs to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

There are a lot of retailers that offer low level aids and equipment to support people as they develop needs, these are readily available and do not need any assistance from the Council. The Community Equipment Service (CES) provides daily living equipment ranging from low level independence equipment and mobility aids through to specialist/bespoke items ALL are dependent upon individual assessed need.

All equipment provision via the Council requires an assessment of individual need prior to provision; assessment may be carried out by Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and other specific personnel who are deemed competent/suitably qualified.

Assisting people at home also includes

  • Telecare and telecare add-ons (IL process all requests for Telecare systems)
  • Smart Technology (Information, Advice & Guidance)
  • Daily Living Equipment (assessment & provision via the CES).
  • Minor Adaptations Under £1000 (assessment & provision via NLC Handyperson Service)
  • Information, Advice & Guidance (the right information at the right time).

Summary of available assistance schemes

Funding max



Must follow the North Lincolnshire Council Mandatory DFG route in the first instance.

Available to all those eligible for a Mandatory DFG.

Landlords may be required to provide a long-term tenancy, to maintain security of tenure for the tenants.

No further means testing. No additional land charges.


To provide additional funding, up to a maximum of 10k, when the mandatory grant does not cover the full extent of the adaptations required.

Funding max



Must follow the North Lincolnshire Council Mandatory DFG route.

Occupational Therapist to state end of life and evidence. SR1 criteria.

Not means tested.

Approved costs may include to remove and recycle equipment, i.e., stairlifts / wash-dry units / ramps.

Equipment rental will be considered for this grant.

NB. A 10-year land charge may be applied to any owner-occupier, as per the Mandatory DFG.


To assist people who are nearing end of life to remain independent in their own homes.

Funding max



Referrals may be started through the Hospital / Care Home Discharge Team, working with Occupational Therapists and/or other relevant clinicians / assessors, deemed appropriate.

All referrals, that include adaptations must go through the NLC DFG panel route, via referral to the DFG Occupational Therapy Team and be classed as urgent.

For standalone adaptations the referrer must justify why a DFG cannot be utilised.

Exceptional cases only for adaptations (stairlifts / wash- dry units, ramps).

Other works to include:

  • Heating repairs for owner-occupiers
  • Clearance of hoarded goods and /or one-off deep clean.

Not means tested.

N.B. A 10-year land charge may be applied to any owner-occupier, as per the Mandatory DFG.


To facilitate a discharge from hospital or Care Home, to enable people to return

home, who are unable due to their home conditions.

This is not a replacement for a DFG, it is intended to provide support to release hospital / care home beds only.

Subject to circumstances the service user/ family would be expected to be involved in clearance / deep clean.

Funding max

Owner occupier

Up to £5,000 towards specific relocation expenses, including Solicitors / Estate Agents fees, removal charges, redecoration, and floor coverings + the cost of adaptations (up to a total max of £15,000) to meet long-term need.

10-year Land charge as per DFG will be applied to this grant.


Up to £2,000 towards specific relocation expenses (this could include van hire, removal charges, redecoration, or floor coverings).

DFG will be considered for works required in the new property.

Direct Payments may be considered.


Must follow the North Lincolnshire Council Mandatory DFG route, to include feasibility from NLC surveyor to justify that the current property cannot be reasonably adapted.

Adult cases are means tested.

Does not cover moves to mobile homes due to their limited adaptability.

Both properties must be within North Lines.

Deposits or any shortfall in equity would not be eligible for grant aid.


To enable a move to a more suitable property.

Funding max

Serious repairs, inc flood prevention installations (£15,000 max)
DFG top up and/or means tested contribution (£30,000 max)

Future proofing adaptations (£30,000 max)

Foster carer loan (£30,000 max)

Amounts can be increased at the discretion of senior management.


Over 60 years of age, unless vulnerable or in poor health and unable to access a commercial loan.

Applicant must have owned and lived in the property for a minimum of 12 months.

Subject to secured borrowing to value of property, maximum 70%

Legal charge applied.

Applicants must not have any outstanding debt to the Council.

Applicants must have buildings insurance in place for a loan to be approved and for the duration of the loan.

An agency fee will be added to all loans, further details available upon enquiry.


To carry out home repairs to achieve decency by removing serious defects (Housing, Health and Safety Rating System Category 1 and High Category 2 hazards.

Funding max



Available via referral from an Occupational Therapist, social worker, or other appropriate professional.

Certain adaptations need Equipment Panel Approval.

No means test.

Available to owner-occupiers and tenants.

Ongo tenants are not eligible for this service as they have their own in-house team to deliver minor adaptations.


To enhance the health, wellbeing, and independence of vulnerable people by providing minor aids, works and services along with adaptations and assistive technology products, including dementia aids etc.

Funding max



Owner occupier/s must be over 60 and have owned and lived in the property over 12 months.

Basic security measures can be installed bv NLC.

Handyperson for owner- occupiers.

Claims for contributions towards private installations of new alarm / camera systems, security lights, new doors / windows which are in serious disrepair and there is a security risk, will be considered.

People living in rented properties must be over 60 and have lived at that address (with a tenancy agreement) for over 12 months.

For rented properties, only claims for contributions towards private installations of alarm / camera systems, security lights will be considered. Ring doorbells, or other similar systems will not be included.

Works that landlords should carry out will not be considered.

Only one claim per property.

No further claim for different property for 5 years.

Labour provided by friends or family members / relatives will not be eligible for grant assistance.

Not means tested. No payback.

Some service users may be eligible for a one-off Care- Call internal direct payment, subject to eligibility criteria by Independent Living Service.


To reduce the fear of crime and keep people safe in their own homes.

Funding max



The scheme is available for high-risk cases, where the general handyperson offer for this element of work is not sufficient and the victim is deemed at risk of serious harm.

Referrals, complete with appropriate recommendations and risk assessments can be made by Police and specialist domestic abuse services to the Domestic Abuse Strategy

Manager for consideration.

Criteria to be agreed.

Includes enhanced security measures such as safe room, alarms, window shutters, security grills, CCTV etc.

Not means tested.


The Safe and Sound Sanctuary Scheme aims to support victims of domestic abuse and their children, to remain in their own homes (where it is their choice, and safe to do so), by providing enhanced security measures to the property.

Funding max

Maximum £5,000

Loan is interest free


Available to homeowners only.

Client must be vulnerable.

Loan is only available for boiler / heating repairs or replacement or to obtain an Electrical Installation Condition Report.

Must be referred to the Credit Union by North Lincolnshire Council.

Monies are paid direct to the Contractor.

Credit Union confirm eligibility for the loan and manage the loan once in place.


To provide vulnerable clients with an interest free loan to carry out repairs to their heating system.

Funding max

Up to £10,000


Only available to owner occupiers to undertake serious repairs that are impacting on the occupants’ health and/or safety.

For clients age 60+ or clients under 60 with qualifying health conditions and in receipt of a means tested benefit or who are on a low income

Total household income and savings must be below the Better Care Fund thresholds.

Applicant must have owned and lived in the property for a minimum of 12 months.

Applicants must not have any outstanding debt to the Council.

This Grant can be considered in situations where all other options for support have been ruled out.

A land charge for the full amount will be applied for 1O years.


To enable essential repairs that could be prejudicial to the health of vulnerable occupants.

Funding max



An Occupational Therapy DFG Teams’ assessment of needs must be completed.

The recommendation will be submitted by the Occupational Therapist, to the weekly DFG Panel, for consideration. Approved cases will be forwarded to the Home Assistance Team to progress.

Once agreed at Panel, all complex child cases will be referred to Children and Families, by panel, for their assessment.

Cases approved by Children and Families will then be returned to panel, who will forward to the Home Assistance Tearm to process.

Available to owner occupiers and people living in rented properties.

Initial Landlord approval in principle required by Occupational Therapist, prior to submission to panel.

Means tested (adults)

Land Charge (10-years) applied for all owner- occupier cases where grant exceeds £5k.
(maximum £10k)


To assist people to remain independent in their own homes longer.

Additional financial support may be available via the North Lincolnshire Credit Union should the service user not be eligible for the above.

In addition, the council is involved in a range of energy efficiency projects and from time to time receives government funding to assist with the installation of energy improvement measures. For more information see website.


  • Apart from the mandatory disabled facilities grant all other grants are subject to available funding and sufficient resources to deliver.
  • All discretionary grants are subject to senior management discretion on a case-by-case basis or in exceptional circumstances where no other funding is available and where the health and safety of the occupant is at risk.
  • Eligibility criteria and key facts about each of the schemes above can be found as appendix 1.

Application arrangements

  • The website has details for service users to enquire about an assessment for minor works (Handyperson), or for a Disabled Facilities Grant.
  • All other grants and applications can either be made via the council website or by telephoning the Council on 01724 297000 to request an enquiry form.
  • The enquiry form must include original documents, where requested and be completed fully.
  • An application will only be considered once all the relevant documentation has been provided.
  • Receipt of enquiry forms will be confirmed within 5 working days.

Decision and approval of grants

An application for a grant is complete when the following are all in place.

  • A completed application form, with supporting evidence and the relevant signed occupancy certificate.
  • Determination of financial eligibility (means test)
  • Schedule of works with a minimum of two like for like quotes detailing costs (if appropriate)
  • Full written approval from all relevant parties, including consent from the landlord or joint homeowners (if appropriate)
  • Any planning permission or other statutory requirements.


We are committed to ensuring that there are no delays throughout the whole grant and loan process, that we can control. Timescales vary depending on the grant/loan applied for and are depending on urgency and level of complexity or need.

There are 5 key stages of delivering a home adaptation:

  • Stage 0: first contact with services
  • Stage 1: first contact to assessment and identification of the relevant works
  • Stage 2: identification of the relevant works to the submission of the formal grant application
  • Stage 3: grant application to grant approval.
  • Stage 4: approval of grant to completion of works.

The table below sets out best practice targets and indicative timescales. We endeavour to meet these timescales in 95%+ of cases:

Target timescales (working days)
Type Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Total
Urgent and simple 5 25 5 20 55
Non-urgent and simple 20 50 20 40 130
Urgent and complex 20 45 5 60 130
Non-urgent and complex 35 55 20 80 180
  • The above timescales are for guidance only. Where demand exceeds the amount of resource available, waiting times for an adaptation may be affected.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to return applications and all relevant paperwork in a timely manner in order to expedite the application process.
  • For applications where legal, planning and land registry are involved this will impact upon processing times and are outside of the control and influence of the council.
  • Where direct payments are authorised, these will be paid within relevant council processes.

Conditions, fees, payments, supervision of works, maintenance, repairs and warranties

  • All grants and loans are subject to terms and conditions. These are included within this policy and will be explained upon application to any scheme.
  • The council may charge an administration fee for any professional/technical services or charges incurred relating to the work. This fee will be incorporated into the total assistance amount and will be clearly explained to the applicant.
  • The Council will arrange for all works to be supervised (where applicable) and will ensure that works are completed to a satisfactory standard.
  • All works must be completed within 12 months of approval.
  • Payments will be paid on satisfactory completion of works direct to the contractor/ supplier. Any payments to the applicant (where applicable) will be paid upon receipt of invoice (addressed to the grant applicant), signed customer completion form, any relevant certificates and warranty documents. The applicant must agree and sign that they are satisfied with the quality of the work prior to payment. If the applicant refuses, the Council will inspect the work and it it believes it is of sufficiently good standard the payment will be made.
  • Under certain circumstances we may be able to offer direct payments direct to individuals to arrange for their own works to be undertaken.
  • The quality of work undertaken by contractors appointed by the council is guaranteed for a period of 12 months.
  • Some individual items may have their own extended warranties that are provided by the manufacturer.
  • It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they adhere to all conditions of the warranty and/or servicing requirements.
  • Outside of the general warranty terms the responsibility for repairs will lay with the applicant. Applicants and landlords are therefore advised to consider how they will meet any future maintenance and repair costs when applying for and accepting any assistance.
  • Copies of all guarantees and warranties will be provided after completion of the works.

Local Land Charges

  • Where a charge is placed on the property this will be explained to the property owner detailing the maximum charge and the duration it will be in place. If the property is reassigned within this period of time the land charge will be required to be repaid in full at the point of sale / reassignment.
  • In the case of a Home Appreciation Loan a legal charge will be put in place, this will remain in place until the loan is repaid at point of sale or transfer of ownership of the property.


  • The council has specific framework contractors covering works within the Home Assistance Policy. Some grants/loans will require applicants to source their own quotation through their choice of contractor.
  • Where an applicant asks a contractor to carry out any additional works on-site, the applicant will become fully responsible for both the cost and quality of that work.
  • Under certain circumstances we may be able to offer direct payments direct to individuals to arrange for their own works to be undertaken.
  • Any additional work or agreement to alter an approved scheme must be agreed with the Council.

Appeals and Complaints

  • Anyone wishing to submit an appeal or a complaint about the service, challenge a decision or raise a dispute about any work completed will need to do so using the councils complaints policy Standards, complaints, appeals and objections – North Lincolnshire Council (northlincs.gov.uk)

Policy Review

  • This policy will be subject to ongoing monitoring and will be reviewed after 6 months of formal approval and then annually, unless there is some event, consideration or legislation change that necessitates an earlier review.