Disabled Facilities Grants

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Transport and the Regions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20 March 2001.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South 12:00, 20 March 2001

If he will make a statement on disabled facilities grants. [152915]

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions)

The disabled facilities grant is a mandatory grant that is paid through local authorities for adaptations to help disabled people to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. The Government have increased the resources available for this grant in the comprehensive spending review by 20 per cent., to £87 million next year and £89 million in 2003–04.

Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Will she outline how Coventry will benefit from the increases, bearing in mind that many families waited for years under the previous Government, but were always denied access to the grant because of the lack of money allocated to them?

Photo of Beverley Hughes Beverley Hughes Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions)

My hon. Friend is right on that last point. We have increased resources substantially from £56 million, which was the amount set in the last Budget of the previous Government, to £87 million for the coming financial year. I happen to have Coventry's disabled facilities grant allocation to hand. For the current year it is £456,000, but for the next financial year of 2001–02 it will increase by 23 per cent. to £561,000, which is about 5 per cent. higher than the average for the area. The allocation reflects Coventry's very good record on investment in facilities for disabled people and in housing adaptations.