Milton Keynes MPs Iain Stewart and Ben Everitt have welcomed the announcement that Milton Keynes City Council will receive a boost in government funding to help older people and those with disabilities to live safely and independently in their own homes.
The funding is part of £50 million allocated to local authorities by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which will be delivered through the Disabled Facilities Grant. Funding is available to homeowners, private renters and those in social housing, and eligible people will be able to apply to their local authority for a grant to adapt their home to better meet their needs. Since 2010, there have been almost half a million home adaptions, backed by £4.8 billion in funding.
The £50 million comes on top of the annual £573 million already provided to local authorities for home improvement services and is the first part of a £102 million investment to be made over two years, which will enable local authorities to provide additional services that are agile, make minor adaptations quickly and support speedier hospital discharge.
Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, said: "This extra funding for Milton Keynes City Council to support older people and those living with disabilities is fantastic news.
"This allows people to be able to continue to live in their own homes which is best for their mental health and helps free up hospital space."
Iain Stewart, the MP for Milton Keynes South, commented: “I welcome this extra funding for Milton Keynes City Council to support older people and individuals with disabilities to live in their homes both safely and independently.
“With this support, it will allow constituents to continue living their lives without relying upon someone else to provide them assistance.”
Minister for Adult Social Care, Helen Whately, said: “Everyone deserves the opportunity to live comfortably and independently in their own home, and the Disabled Facilities Grant supports people to do just that.
“This extra money will help to speed up the process so that local authorities can make minor changes quickly and people can live safely where they feel most comfortable.
“It will also help to get people discharged from hospital quickly as being able to return to suitable housing will reduce the need to draw on other care and support.”
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Felicity Buchan, said: “We want everyone to have high quality, safe, and suitable homes so they can keep living more independently, including people leaving hospital care. This funding provides councils with additional resource to support those in need and builds on the funding already in place."
Providing suitable adaptations to homes, such as wheelchair ramps, handrails, stairlifts or specialist equipment, will mean that when someone is medically fit to be discharged, they will have somewhere safe to be discharged to, freeing up hospital beds for those who need them.
As a result, this will help to reduce waiting times, which will be important as the health service approach the winter months, when pressure on the NHS increases.
The Disabled Facilities Grant is one of a range of housing support measures that a local authority can use to help enable people to live independently and safely at home. The government also provides guidance to local authorities to help them effectively and efficiently deliver home adaptations and best serve the needs of older and disabled people in their local communities.