Facilities grants for disabled delayed in Broadland

Disabled people needing house adaptations to keep them living in their homes are facing delays of between three and four months.

And Broadland District Council admits it has left people with more complex cases waiting longer, with extra resources now being used to try and ease its backlog.

The authority provides money under the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), which is administered by councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But it says an increasing demand for the means-tested cash has led to a waiting list emerging. Talks have been held with Norfolk County Council and other district councils to help process applications quicker.

Broadland also increased the amount of money in its improvement grants budget from �802,400 in 2011/12 to an estimated �1.3m for the backlog.

New figures show the authority completed and paid out 171 DFG grants from April 2011 to March 2012, but had already carried out 146 between April 2012 and the first week of August.

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A council spokesman said: 'We have increased the technical officer resource working on the DFG programme.

'In addition, we are reviewing our processes to try and address inefficiencies in the delivery.'

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Nich Starling, Liberal Democrat opposition leader at the authority, said: 'It sounds like the council is getting on top of it, but it's disappointing it's something they've had to get on top of. I would hope the council would have treated this with the level of importance it has for those people seeking grants.'

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