Archive Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Archive brought to you by Cross Stitch UK

Main menu

Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Adapting your home

If you're disabled you may need your home improved or adapted to meet your needs. The social security department of your local council can make an assessment of your home. Find out what help is available to you, to help you adapt your home.


Usually, an occupational therapist will assess what adaptations would best meet your needs. If they agree that you need adaptations to your home, then you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant.

Disabled Facilities Grants

Local councils have to give Disabled Facilities Grants to eligible applicants to make houses suitable for disabled people. Depending on your financial circumstances, you may be expected to pay some of the costs.

Disabled Facilities Grants are available to owners and tenants in both private and social housing up to a to a limit of £30,000.

Extra help that may be available

Sometimes, local councils provide assistance such as low cost loans or grants to help renovate, repair or adapt your home.

They may also provide other sorts of assistance. For example, helping someone move to more suitable accommodation if this would provide a similar benefit to improving or adapting the existing accommodation.

For more information, contact the Environmental Health or Housing Department of your local council.

VAT relief

Disabled people do not have to pay VAT on the cost of some building work involved in adaptations to their homes. If an adaptation qualifies for VAT relief, the work preparing for the adaptation and the work to tidy up afterwards is also free from VAT.

Council Tax reduction

If you adapt your home so that a disabled person can live there you may be eligible for a one-band reduction on your Council Tax.

Supporting People Programme

Supporting People provides help to vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in the community. This might be in their own homes or supported housing.

Getting work done

Home Improvement Agencies

You may be able to get help from a Home Improvement Agency with arranging for adaptation work to be carried out. They are not-for-profit organisations, which are often managed locally by councils or housing associations. They can:

  • give free advice about what work needs to be done
  • offer support to tenants who want to adapt their homes
  • arrange to have small adaptations and equipment installed
  • organise larger adaptation work
  • sort out finances
  • find a surveyor, architect or builder
  • keep an eye on how the work is progressing

Foundations is the national co-ordinating body for Home Improvement Agencies in England. For Scotland, it is Care & Repair Forum Scotland and for Wales it is Care & Repair Cymru. Go to the appropriate website to find details of agencies in your area.

Planning permission and building regulations

It is important to get planning permission and take into account any building regulations before you begin major building work. To find out how to do this, visit your local council's website.

Choosing tradespeople and builders

If you decide to hire a tradesperson or builder yourself, it is important to choose someone who operates legally and is qualified for the job. You can find information about choosing a builder in the home and community section of Directgov.

Access keys

If you would like to take part in our website visitor survey, please visit the site and then come back and select this link to take part in the survey.