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Thread: Disabled Facilities

  1. #1

    Disabled Facilities

    I need adapted facilities in my house ie ramp to get out of home and shower facilities.
    Although the council and OT have approved my changes the way they want to do them will mess up many areas of the house.

    Is it possible to get equity release from my home which has no mortgage to make the changes as I need them and want them?
    I am DLA and ESA benefits?

    Thank You

  2. #2
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    To clarify - the Council have approved but not funding the changes - you are solely funding the adaptations yourself?

    You also say you are mortgage free so own your home without any liabilities. You'd have to speak to a bank or mortgage broker to make enquiries - mortgage rates are much lower than a loan. Though not sure if they would accept DLA and ESA as a form of income.

    Do you have an indefinite award for DLA? At some stage you will be invited to complete the forms for PIP (PIP2).

    To fund this have you tried they have a huge listing of charitable organisations who may assist you in providing grants etc.

    Also depends on your disability - if it is straightforward - there may be a charity purely for your disability.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    to clarify: the council will fund changes but you don't like the WAY they want to do them??? If they are paying, they get a vote. Have you asked WHY? Probly due to Elf and Safety etc.
    Basically, you pay, you get a say BUT i'd still ask a builder for a quote.. There may be a valid structural reason for the upheaval,

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Your needs have been assessed and you may well have been told that, in theory, you qualify for a ramp and wheel-in shower - you can't have one without the other

    In order to gain Access to the Disabled Facilities Grant the Council needs to financially assess you as the grant is means-tested. They will take into account your savings and income. If you are given the green light they will tell you whether you need to wait 6 weeks or up to 12 months before work begins.

    Whether you go through the Council or buy it privately there will be upheaval of a few weeks. But you won't go without toilet facilities or water as they will make sure you can keep clean - do expect dust - it's inevitable.

    Equity release. You own your home outright - no mortgage. You could release a percentage of your home to unlock capital to pay for the building work to be done. Say you released 8,000 or 15% of your property value the finance company would charge you 'compound interest' on the debt. In other words your debt gets bigger every year and eats away at your property value.

    A more cost-effective solution is to relocate or 'size-down' to a more suitable place.

  5. #5

    More information

    Thank You for your replies,

    What has happened is that the OT came decided I needed changes to the house, ie Ramp to get out of house, Larger Shower room to allow easier access and changes to make living room into bedroom. (As we have front room which can be used as living room).

    The council (Housing improvement) produced the Planning Application then this was approved.

    I was happy with these changes, then on deciding whether these changes are acceptable, the adaptions panel
    decided the changes were not appropriate as to get to the shower room from the living room I have to go
    through a Conservatory then kitchen, the conservatory is not classed as being a habitable room.

    So they asked for feasibility of two new plans:
    1. to knock the kitchen and conservatory down and make a new kitchen and shower room.....
    2. Change the living room into a bedroom with shower and toilet facilities.......

    In the last meeting they agreed that option 2 was cheapest and best now..........

    I was happy with the original plan. They will NOT do just the ramp to let me out of the house its all or nothing........

    So I am looking at my options with equity release, I need around ?25,0000 - ?30,000 so was wondering if it was possible just doing it myself
    but I am on benefits with indefinite awards...

    I have meeting next week with a council person but I can't see it going well.....

    Any advice would be appreciated, is it possible to get equity release, I have paid off mortgage before and have very good credit rating....

    Thank You
    Last edited by esanewbie; 01-06-15 at 13:29. Reason: below should be defore

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I would agree with the Councils second option of having a wet room adjoining the bedroom in the former living room - it would be more practical and give you easier access should you need to use the facilities at night.

    If you are eligible for having this work done via the Council I'd say use their services - it's a no brainer as they will subcntract the work out to builders who do this type of modification daily.

    I'm sure that your credit rating is fine as your home is an asset. If you were to go down the Equity Release route it could mean that any means-tested benefits are stopped because you have over 16k in savings.

    The Council might disregard any Equity Release for 6 months as it is ear marked for home improvements.

    Remember your DLA will be assessed again about March 2016 so this non means-tested benefit may be reduced, stay the same or rise.

    I only wish that the Council would offer to design and built me a ramp and wet room but I'm not eligible. In your position I'd take their advice and go with the flow!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Just a word of caution about Equity Release schemes. I had a relative who had a small loan outstanding from her daughters wedding (this could have been paid off for her if she'd told her daughter!!) and wanted to replace her kitchen. She was going through some significant emotional stress at the time and perhaps not checking things out as well as she normally would. She signed up for an equity release plan, got her new kitchen, etc but the consequences of this have caused her so much stress, and she would advise anyone not to do this. The scheme has given her cash WAY below the value of her home, and she no longer owns her home. I don't know the details, and of course not all schemes will be the same, but PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL. Get some good advice before you sign up to a scheme like this.

    I agree with Lightouch, much as I can see why this isn't your preferred plan, the work will be done, and it sounds like it will work well. I think the long term security of no mortgage and being debt free is invaluable. Just an opinion, and only you know your home, etc, but try to keep an open mind when you have your meeting.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Fliss; 01-06-15 at 18:33.

  8. #8

    Getting the facilties I need

    Hello again,
    thank you for all the advice so far.

    I have managed to get to the point where the council will pay part of the cost nearly half.

    Does anyone know the procedure for getting the work done with private quotes?
    Also I have been told that the builder needs to be CHAS and contstructionline registered and the payments will always be when work has been done staged payments. ie most builders want part payments for materials etc first.

    I have found got a list of getting quotes should be ok.

    I have been told I need to find RICS Private agent to run the building work....

    Can anyone advise I am in Sandwell.

    Can anyone advise?
    Last edited by esanewbie; 26-08-15 at 14:29. Reason: update

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    I would always go with THREE QUOTES. Try recognised firms as opposed to "cowboys". My mom lived in Sandwell and there are the latter who I'm sure fleeced her and didn't do a good job.
    try this site:

    Or go with personal recommendation - see if you can find someone in the local area, who has also had work done.

  10. #10
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Try the local trading standards Trusted Trader list.

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