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Local Authorities Falling Short with Disabled Tenants

It is a travesty the way that Local Authorities are falling short of their responsibilities, by failing those with disabilities who require social housing.

Whilst Housing Trusts generally manage the Local Authority property portfolio and allocate homes to those in need, in the case of a "new tenant" it is the Local Authorities who have the obligation to allocate funds to cover the cost of adaptation in order to make them suitable for disabled use.

However, it appears that sadly a "catch 22" situation has developed in Shropshire, whereby if a property is identified and applied for by a family affected by disability, the Housing Trust will automatically refuse to allocate it and deem it unsuitable for disabled occupation because it has not been adapted. 

The Local Authority (who have statutory obligations in relation to children and those who are disabled and thereby "in need"), are able to make grant funding available for the adaptation costs, however it would seem the Council's current policy is to consider grants to adapt a particular property only, rather than by a pre-funding or "passport" agreement, where a grant might be approved in principle, subject to a property capable of being adapted being allocated to a tenant.

Happily, although subject to appeal, case law suggestions that decisions made by the Housing Trusts may now be open to challenge in the High Court of Justice by way of Judicial Review, the High Court should brace itself as it may well be inundated with such applications.