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Adapting your home to meet your needs

At SLH we are committed to helping our tenants and their families maintain their independence and fully access their homes. This page explains what adaptations are, how they are funded and how to apply to have your home adapted to suit your needs.

What are adaptations?

An adaptation is an alteration or addition which makes it easier and/or safer for your or your family to use your home. Adaptations can be provided to accommodate a tenant’s needs based on characteristics such as age, disability, faith or culture. We divide our adaptions into two categories, minor and major.

Minor adaptations

Minor adaptations are small repairs that cost less than £500 to complete.

They are funded from our responsive repairs budget.

Examples of minor adaptations include the installation of grab rails, lever taps, or the repositioning of switches.

How are minor adaptations funded?

Normally, an occupational therapy (OT) assessment is not required for a minor adaptation,  therefore SLH covers the cost.

If the minor adaptation is complex however we will discuss this with you and whether a professional assessment is required.

How long will it take?

We will make an appointment with you at a time that is convenient for you.

Works should be completed within 28 days of the date of request.

How to apply for a minor adaptation

You can request a minor adaptation in the same way you report a repair.

Call us on 0330 303 3000 option 1 or visit mySLH

Major adaptations

A major adaptation is one that costs over £500 or is of a complex nature. Major adaptations require an occupational therapy assessment before work can start. Examples of major adaptations include walk-in shower rooms, through-lifts, or ground-floor extensions.

The first step to a major adaptation is the medical assessment completed by the occupational therapist.  SLH will not carry out any works or accept a request until this assessment is received.

How are major adaptations funded?

Adaptations costing under £2,500 will be paid for using SLH’s adaptations budget while adaptions costing between £2,500 and £15,000 will be subject to a joint funding request between SLH and Liverpool City Council using a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).

How long will it take?

The date of receipt of the OT report and recommendation will be recorded as the date of application.

We are in the process of working through a backlog of major adaptations due to an increase in demand for the service.

As a result, we are currently actioning applications for major adaptations dated from approximately 18 months ago. We are working hard to reduce the backlog and aim to bring our waiting times back to normal as soon as possible.

Any waiting time does not include the time taken for approval of DFG application.

How to apply for a major adaptation

Major adaptations require a needs assessment from an OT. The OT will provide a report to SLH, detailing your needs and providing advice on the work required.

Apply for a needs assessment for an adult with Liverpool City Council

Apply for a needs assessment for a child with Liverpool City Council

Major adaptations - a step-by-step guide

How to apply for a major adaptation in your home

If you, or someone living with you, have a disability, an adaptation may help you to live more comfortably in your home.

Download our step-by-step guide to applying for a major adaptation in your home.

Frequently-asked questions

Here are the answers to some common questions about the adaptations process. If your question is not answered here, please use the Get in Touch form at the foot of this page or call us on 0330 303 3000.

What service standards can I expect?

The nature of the work and timescales to complete the adaptation will be discussed during our pre-entry survey. The purpose of this is to discuss any requirements during the install. 

The time it takes to complete a major adaptation can vary significantly depending upon the nature of the work. For example, an adaptation such as a level-access shower should take approximately five days to complete, whereas a more significant adaptation like a through-floor lift and alteration to the layout of your home will take significantly longer.  

During the works you will have the contact details of the customer liaison officer who will be able to answer any questions you may have. Once completed, the works will be inspected by a surveyor from SLH to ensure they have been completed to our standards and are fit for purpose.  

Why has my adaptation request been rejected?

In some cases, major adaptations cannot be completed.  This is because:

  • Your home is not suitable for the works required
  • There is an alternative home available that already has the adaptations required to suit your needs
  • You have submitted a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire application
  • You are on the transfer list
  • Your home is scheduled for demolition or major refurbishment within one year of the request for the adaptation
  • The adaptation fails the test of resources review carried out by Liverpool City Council as part of the DFG approval process

How do you prioritise applications?

In most cases adaptations are prioritised in date order based on the date of application. However, in some instances priority will be given to applications such where:

  • You or your family member cannot be discharged from hospital until the adaptation has been completed
  • A risk assessment identifies it is not safe for you or your family member to continue to live in the home without the adaptation being completed

We understand that waiting for adaptation work to be completed can be stressful. Therefore, during the waiting period we will signpost you to advice and support, to help you live as safely and comfortably as possible while you wait for your adaptation to be completed.

Will my rent or service charge increase if my home is adapted?

Your rent will not increase unless your adaptation is to provide and additional room/rooms in your home.

If your adaptation is to provide an item of equipment such as a through-floor lift, a service charge will be applied to cover the cost of annual servicing, repairs, safety checks and insurance.

In both cases, your Neighbourhood Management Officer (NMO) will carry out an affordability assessment with you before the work begins and we will give you notice of a change of tenancy agreement to reflect the new costs.

I’ve just moved in but I need an adaptation to my home

Our application process is set out in our Allocations and Tenure policy and ensures that new homes are let according to the needs of tenants and their families.

Therefore, we will not consider an adaptation to our home in the first year of your tenancy, unless you or your family member have suffered a sudden deterioration in your health and wellbeing.

Adaptations for faith or cultural reasons will also not be considered within the first year unless external funding has been secured.

I have found out that one of your other homes has the adaptations I need. Can I apply for a move?

Where empty homes are identified as having suitable working major adaptations, they will be allocated in line with the Allocations Policy however to maximise the use of the home, the adaptations waiting list will also be reviewed to see if the home meets any of the needs of the tenants on this list.

I’ve been given a second-hand adaptation – why is that?

If someone leaves a home where removable adaptations have been installed, we will inspect and service the adaptations before recycling the adaptation and use in another home. If you receive a recycled adaptation, we will let you know and give you the relevant servicing information before installation.

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