Use of Discretionary provisions within Private Sector Housing Assistance policy
Decision Maker: Deputy Chief Executive
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Applicant (who is a tenant of Accent Housing)
requires a stairlift and Level Access Shower and has failed the
statutory DFG financial assessment but does not have the funds to
pay for the required items.
The Council has made use of the discretionary provisions based on the following rationale:
1. Overall cost of the works is likely to be around £11,000 to £11,500
2. We have a 50/50 cost sharing arrangements with Accent which would mean the Council’s costs would be halved to around £5500/£5750
3. We would not wish to inadvertently play a part in their tenancy with Accent failing due to a lack of suitable facilities – we wish to contribute to sustainable tenancies and communities.
4. Nor would we wish to cause them to stop being an economically active household simply to qualify for DFG. Such action would be perverse and would contradict our desire to assist with people’s well-being especially at this time with COVID still prevalent.
5. Their financial position is not affluent. They do not have much in the way of savings (as declared to the HIA) and would not be able to afford to self-fund either of the two recommended adaptation items.
6. The amount that the Council would have to spend – ie less than £6000 - is lower than some Chorley Adaptation Grants that we have provided to people who have not been financially assessed but whom we suspect would have ‘failed’ a means test had one been applied.
The Deputy Chief Executive has confirmed
approval for the proposal as per email 11/9/20:
''I’m happy to approve that as a grant given the rationale that you have set out''.
Alternative options considered:
Option 1 -
Notify the applicant of their DFG ineligibility. This however would do nothing to alleviate their unsuitable housing circumstances and could jeopardise the viability of the tenancy.
Option 2 -
ask Accent to pay in full. This would not be feasible as they have no statutory duty to offer any funding for major adaptations.
Publication date: 14/09/2020
Date of decision: 11/09/2020