Decision details

Housing Assistance Policy: Enabling Independent Living

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek approval for an updated Housing Assistance Policy to offer wider financial support to older and disabled people to enable them to live independently at home for as long as possible.




1          The Housing Assistance Policy be approved and reviewed by officers at 5-yearly intervals.


2          Authority be delegated to the Executive Director: People in consultation with the Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing to:


(a)        Make minor amendments to the policy to comply with legislation and guidance.


(b)        To suspend the approval of any discretionary housing assistance offered in the policy.


(c)        To introduce new assistance to help vulnerable, disabled and older residents should funding become available.


(d)        To set the annual level of funding to be made available for discretionary assistance offered under the policy, in the first year of implementation to be set at a maximum of 15% of the annual DFG budget.

Reasons for the decision:

The Council is required by law to adopt and publish a policy detailing any assistance it wishes to offer which exceed the mandatory disabled facilities grant.


The focus of the Housing Assistance Policy is one of prevention and is to enable independent living, by supporting those whose independence may be at risk to access housing (including their current home), which meets their needs.

Alternative options considered:

To not develop or approve a policy would limit Bracknell Forest to being able to deliver Mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants only.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Financial Impact: There are no additional resource implications arising from this report. The new policy framework enables more flexible use of the Disabled Facility Grant budget. Funding is received annually in the form of a government grant (the disabled facilities capital grant determination 2020-21 was £853,469). All grants within the policy will be funded from this allocation plus ‘underspend’ carried forward from previous years capital awards. The mandatory Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is seen as one of the main support packages that eligible older people and people with long-term health conditions are able to access to support them to remain living independently in the community, but it is also acknowledged that the DFG is an ‘old’ grant based on legislation which is over 30 years old and which in modern society can be limiting in terms of the support it can offer. Therefore, the Policy utilises the powers available to the Council to extend the support it offers using the DFG funding to en

Declarations: None.

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No.

Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director of People

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Housing have worked collaboratively with Adult Social Care and a specialist OT seconded to the DFG Team to develop the policy


None externally

Contact: Sarah Gee, Assistant Director: Early Help and Communities Email: Tel: 01344 351447.

Report author: Sarah Gee

Publication date: 14/12/2021

Date of decision: 14/12/2021

Decided at meeting: 14/12/2021 - Executive

Effective from: 22/12/2021

Accompanying Documents: