Now, thanks to the Welsh Assembly Government, the parents of disabled children should be able to apply for grants to cover 100 per cent of the costs of any necessary adaptations to their homes, regardless of income.
Announcing her decision today, Mrs Hart said: 'Until now, many families with disabled children have had to pay out of their own pockets to adapt their homes for the needs of their children and applicants for grants were subject to a complex means test.
'Parents with children who have disabilities already face many day to day challenges. In simplifying the system, we hope to make one aspect of their lives easier and level the playing field for all, regardless of income,' the minister added.
- Disabled facilities grants or DFGs are available to fund adaptations that enable disabled people to continue to live in their own homes.
- Currently five per cent of DFGs are allocated to families with disabled children.
- More than 5,000 DFGs valued at around£33.5m are approved annually by local authorities in Wales.
- Statutory responsibility for allocating DFGs rests with local authorities.
- A comprehensive review of housing adaptations, including DFGs, was completed in March 2005. It involved widespread consultation with local authorities, registered social landlords, government departments, the other devolved administrations, disabled people and the parents of disabled children.