Housing adaptations

Housing adaptations

If you have mobility issues at home you could benefit from adaptations.

Adaptations are changes made to a person’s home that make it easier, more comfortable and safer to carry on living there. They can also help carers complete their important role more effectively.

Adaptations are particularly good for:

  • people who are disabled
  • older people
  • anyone having difficulty moving and coping at home independently

Typically, there are 3 types of adaptations:

  • minor
  • medium
  • major

Minor housing adaptations

Minor adaptations can usually be provided quickly and free of charge to anyone, whether you own your own home or rent from a private landlord or housing association.

Small changes typically include:

  • grab rails (or grab bars) designed to help maintain balance, reduce tiredness and the risk of falling while standing or moving around
  • half-steps to reduce the height of steps in and around the home
  • stair rails (or handrails or bannisters) to help with balance, reduce tiredness and the risk of falling while climbing the stairs

Medium and major adaptations

In the case of medium and major housing adaptations, an assessment will be required from an Occupational Therapist.

After the assessment the therapist will work with you to understand what your exact needs are and discuss which help and support is available.

Medium-sized adaptations typically include:

  • door widening to allow easier access, such as for wheelchairs
  • bathroom adaptations such as grab bars to help make getting into and out of the bath easier
  • stair lifts to help get up the stairs safely if you have significant walking difficulties
  • domestic lifts, which are also known as through-floor or platform lifts

Major housing adaptations typically include:

  • building an extension
  • converting a garage

Solihull Independent Living (SIL)provides the adaptations following the results of the assessment.

The cost of housing adaptations

Housing adaptations are available to older people, disabled people and those receiving certain benefits. The cost of your housing adaptations will depend on your need.

The cost payable by you will also depend on the financial help you are entitled to.

If you are on benefits, you should apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant to see what help you are entitled to.

Disability Facilities Grant

You may be entitled to a Disabled Facilities Grant, also known as a DFG, if your home needs medium or major adaptations such as:

  • widening doors
  • installing a ramp
  • stair lift installation
  • adapting heating or lighting systems

An occupational therapy assessment and a financial assessment, also known as a means test, will take place to see what work your home needs and how much you can afford to contribute to the cost of the adaptations.

The occupational therapy assessment will be carried out by an Occupational Therapist.

The financial assessment:

  • will look at your income, including your personal savings and existing benefits
  • will not look at how much work you need to have done to your home

You could get a grant of up to £30,000. How much you are entitled to depends on:

  • your household income
  • your savings over £6,000

You can apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant if you are disabled and:

  • own and live in your own property
  • live with your family
  • are privately renting or living in a Housing Association property

Landlords can apply for a grant on behalf of disabled tenants.

You can apply for a grant if a disabled person lives with you.

To arrange for an assessment contact Solihull Connect:

  • on 0121 704 8007
  • by email to ccadults@solihull.gov.uk

If necessary, further financial assistance may be available from Solihull Independent Living.

The Solihull Directory also has a list of local firms providing equipment for you to buy or rent.

Useful gadgets (assistive technology / telecare) in your home

Solihull Community Housing provides a host of useful gadgets.

These can all help you live more independently, as well make things easier and more comfortable for your friends, family and carers.

Community wheelchair and equipment services

If you would feel safer and more confident at home with equipment such as walking frames or crutches, your GP can refer you to the community equipment and wheelchair service. You can also be referred to the service by an occupational therapist or another healthcare worker.

The community equipment and wheelchair service also provides:

  • clinical assessments for posture and mobility
  • wheelchairs
  • seating systems
  • repair and maintenance for loaned equipment

To find out more about the equipment that may be available for you or the person you care for, you can contact the service by:

To find out how to return equipment you do not need anymore you can phone 0121 329 0900.

You can also visit the Ask SARA website for detailed advice and information and to find products to help with your health, help in your home and help you complete your day to day activities.


Ask SARAfrom the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF), is a guided advice tool aimed at helping you find help to live in the best way you can.

It is an award-winning, simple to use solution.

You just choose the topic you are interested in, answer a few simple questions and produce your own report, which:

  • has useful advice written by occupational therapists
  • provides details of products that might help you
  • allows you to answer more topics, print the report at home or email it to friends, relatives or carers

When things become difficult

If you are finding it very difficult to live safely at home and are concerned, you can contact us to request an assessment.

A qualified worker will work with you, and your carer or representative if you would like, to discuss your needs and identify how to help.

To understand your level of care an assessment will be conducted. The assessment will take place in your own home or wherever is most convenient for you.

The assessment process will discuss what support you need to let you live your life in the best way possible, from understanding your care and support needs to helping maintain and improve your personal wellbeing.

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