Owners of homes that need adaptations for disabled people can make use of a new grant system that is not restricted by a means test.

A Brent Council report noted that this new service – adopted in 2018/19 – will enable more people to apply for major home alterations.

The discretionary disability adaptations grant (DDAG) was created by the council to address eligibility concerns of some disabled residents in the borough.

Disabled facilities grants (DFGs), which are means tested and follow the same principles as DDAGs, are still available in Brent.

Previously, they were “the only grants used for the provision of major adaptations, not only in Brent but across the country”.

According to the report, the changes are part of a wider plan to cope with an increasing number of people needing to make use of the service.

“With Brent’s ageing population predicted to rise, with 20 per cent of the population being over 60 by 2040, the expectation is that demand for grants and adaptations will to continue to grow,” it stated.

The council is currently satisfied with the programme’s financial situation – in 2018/19 it received £4.3 million from the Government for DFGs and it welcomed the “significant” funding increases over the years.

However, it pointed out that the impact of the new system will not be clear until midway through the next financial year.

It added that DFGs save money, since the average cost of adapting a home is around £16,000 less than putting someone in residential care.

This point was supported by Dr Genevieve Small, chairman of neighbouring Harrow CCG, who noted that “if things are not done properly, people are more likely to end up in long term care” which impacts the entire health service.