CHESHIRE East Council has set aside £2.4 million to help the old and vulnerable with adaptations to their homes and reduce the long-term impact on the NHS and social services.

The council’s cabinet agreed to pay up to £50,000 in disabled facilities grant, far exceeding the present Government ceiling of £30,000.

The council has also widened the scope of the grant to make it more flexible, giving applicants greater choice and control so that they can stay in their homes and live safely and securely.

It is hoped the new higher level of grant will be of particular help to families with severely disabled children so they can live at home with special adaptations, instead of having to go into care or have an expensive care package.

The council will introduce a new financial assistance policy – to come into effect from August – making it far easier for vulnerable people at risk, or on benefits, to access funds for adaptations such as stair lifts, improved insulation and other essential repairs and improvements.

The new policy sets out a series of six grants and loans to help those who qualify stay warm, safe and secure in their homes.

The four key objectives are as follows.

Residents can afford to heat their homes and enjoy better health.

Disabled people can live independently with confidence and dignity.

Residents can be confident their home is safe and watertight and can live without fear of injury or ill health. Residents can have the opportunity to live in a well-maintained home in the heart of our communities.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “This policy will help our elderly and vulnerable residents to get the repairs and improvements that they need to be independent, safe and healthy in their own homes.

“In some circumstances it will also help pay for necessary adaptations to another property, such as a relative’s, that they visit regularly.

“By introducing this, Cheshire East Council will exceed its statutory duties to elderly and vulnerable residents in the borough, reducing the long-term financial impact for our health and social services.”

Cap Councillor Ainsley Arnold