If you want to stay independent at home for longer, making some simple adaptations could make your everyday life simpler. Aspire Housing’s Adaptations service can assist you in the following ways;

  • We can provide equipment and/or alterations to your home which are classed as minor adaptations
  • We can provide advice and signposting, including re-housing options
  • We can work with local statutory services to arrange for major adaptations to be carried out to your home

Minor adaptations frequently asked questions

What is a minor adaptation?

We class a minor adaptation as a piece of equipment or alteration made to your home which improves your independence and safety. Typical work may include;

  • Grab rails or stair rails inside the home
  • Lever taps to sinks
  • Handles to kitchen cupboards and drawers
  • External lighting for customers who are vision impaired
  • Provision of additional electrical sockets or re-positioning sockets and switches
  • Over bath showers and bathboards
  • Rehanging or widening of doors
  • Handrails, half steps and small ramps to assist you into your property
  • Consideration will be given to installing step-in showers rather than baths where appropriate as part of a planned programme of improvement works (where a bathroom is due for an upgrade).

Is there anything you don’t do?

Aspire Housing funds the Minor Adaptations service up to a maximum of £1350 per property per year. Work or equipment estimated to cost over this amount is classed as a major adaptation.

We also don’t normally carry out the following;

  • Adaptations within 12 months of tenancy commencement unless our Occupational Therapist has assessed that a condition has deteriorated, there has been a major change in a tenants circumstances or a move has been initiated on Adaptations grounds
  • Where there has been a mutual exchange within 12 months of the request for adaptations
  • Improvements to driveways
  • Provision of in garden parking
  • Work to facilitate mobility scooter access (where no consultation/ assessment of needs have been made prior to purchase)

Are there any occasions where a request could be refused?

Yes, a request for an adaptation may not be approved if:

  • you have made an application to purchase your home
  • there is a large amount of rent arrears
  • any structural changes to your home are required
  • works required exceed the minor adaptations budget so becomes classed as a major adaptation
  • relocation to another suitable adapted property is an option
  • you are under-occupying your current property

If you wish to carry out the required work yourself, you need to ask permission from your Neighbourhood coordinator in writing.

What help is there if I need to move to a more suitable property?

Feeling comfortable with where you live can have a big impact on the quality of your life. You might find that your current property is too big for you and difficult to manage. You may not be able to manage the stairs safely or getting into and out of the bath has become difficult.

Rather than making lots of changes to your home, we may discuss the option of you relocating to a property which already has all the equipment you need. Where customers agree to move to more suitable accommodation or where properties cannot be adapted to meet long-term needs, customers will be awarded a priority for re-housing under Aspires Lettings Policy. This ensures that the customer will be allocated the first available appropriate property.

Those considering the re-housing option may receive financial assistance to cover relocation expenses such as cooker, telephone, refitting of carpets, redirection of post or assistance with redecoration where recommended due to vulnerability. Consideration may also be given to paying a financial incentive in exceptional circumstances to assist with moving costs.

How do I apply for a minor adaptation?

Aspire Housing will agree certain requests for minor adaptations without an OT referral. Provision of these adaptations will be fast tracked and will include supplying and installing items such as Grab rails, additional staircase handrails and lever taps.

Where there is concern around the customer’s needs or their identified needs may be more complex, then the customer will be referred to the Aspire in-house OT for a full needs assessment.

Requests made for minor works will be subject to available funding and we must be satisfied that the adaptation requested is likely to best meet the needs of the customer.

To apply, please contact us or speak to a member of staff for details.

Major adaptations frequently asked questions

What is a major adaptation?

Aspire Housing defines a major adaptation as one for which work will cost more than £1,350. Major adaptations may include the following:

  • Replacing a bath with a level access shower (wet room)
  • Widening of certain internal and external doors
  • Large ramps – provision/ construction
  • Kitchen adaptations
  • Wheelchair accessibility works
  • Stair lift/ through floor lift

It may also include structural alterations such as:

  • Extensions – to provide a bathroom, toilet or bedroom (these will only be considered when all other options including moving have been exhausted)
  • Strengthening a ceiling hoist or fitting a ceiling hoist
  • Removal of internal wall/s.

Following a major adaptation, Aspire Housing would expect that a customer will remain in that property for a minimum period of five years. Aspire Housing would only consider a customer for a transfer to another property where an OT assessment confirms that there has been a significant change to their circumstances and an alternative property is more appropriate and better meets their assessed needs.

Does Aspire ever refuse requests for major adaptations?

As part of a DFG application, Aspire Housing is required to give permission for major adaptation works. In order to meet our stated aim of ensuring that customers are living in the most appropriate home for their needs, Aspire Housing will not normally consider the following requests for major adaptation:

  • Installation of level access showers to first floor flats and above
  • Level access showers installation in family homes which are under occupied
  • Adaptations to sheltered schemes without lifts will not normally be provided; any such adaptations will be at the discretion of the Head of Asset Management
  • Stair lifts in communal blocks
  • Adaptations within 12 months of tenancy commencement unless the OT has assessed that a condition has deteriorated, there has been a major change in a customers’ circumstances or a move has been initiated as part of Aspire’s policy approach
  • Where there has been a mutual exchange within 12 months of the request for an adaptation
  • Requests for funded adaptations where means tests have excluded a customer from DFG funding
  • Improvements to driveways
  • Provision of in garden parking
  • Work to facilitate mobility scooter access (where no consultation/ assessment of needs have been made prior to purchase)

How do I apply for a major adaptation?

Aspire Housing does not fund major adaptations. If, following an assessment the OT identifies that a customer needs adaptations works which will cost over £1,350 and they meet the correct criteria, they can be referred to the local social care and health team for DFG (Disabled Facilities Grant) funding. A DFG is means tested and recommendation for major adaptations is made according to assessed level of need. It should be noted that DFG funding may be limited and waiting lists may be in place.

If a customer wishes to access a private occupational therapist and/or fund the adaptations recommended themselves, or chooses to apply directly to social care and health for a DFG, permission will be required from Aspire Housing to carry out any alterations to the property.

Some adaptations may be subject to an ongoing service or maintenance charge and this will usually be discussed and agreed with customers as a part of the overall DFG process.

To apply or for further advice and guidance, please contact us.