'Major blow' as Bradford Council faces £500,000 home adaptations bill (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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'Major blow' as Bradford Council faces £500,000 home adaptations bill
Bradford Council claims it could be forced pay out an extra £500,000 a year on home adaptations for disabled people after the end of a ten-year agreement with a social housing provider.
The Council said it was investigating alternative sources of funding, but warned the large bill would result in a priority waiting list for disabled people needing vital home adaptations.
When Bradford Council transferred its stock of Council houses to the Bradford Community Housing Trust in 1993, the social landlord – now called Incommunities – agreed to fund around £500,000-a-year Disabled Facilities Grants for its tenants.
That ten-year agreement came to an end in March this year and Incommunities has told the Council that it could only afford to fund £250,000 worth of grants for 2013-14.
As the demand for home adaptations has increased, it is estimated that Bradford Council will need to pay the £300,000 necessary for the funding shortfall for the rest of this financial year.
The Council said that Incommunities has said it cannot guarantee to provide any more funds for the coming years, meaning the Council could be left to fund the adaptations for all residents including social tenants, private tenants and owner-occupiers.
That extra bill, growing due to extra demand, will mean more than £500,000 a year will have to be found from the Council’s budget.
Council Leader Coun David Green said: “Trying to find an extra £500,000 a year for Disabled Facilities Grants at a time of unprecedented Government budget cuts is a major blow. We will do all we can to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the district who need vital adaptations in their homes do not suffer. However, the further large reductions in funding for councils, combined with the increasing demand for services and inflation, means that the Council is faced with having to do much more with far fewer resources.
“This can only have an impact on those people who need our help most.”
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