A council has launched its Housing Assistance Policy (HAP) to support eligible residents across the borough.

The HAP replaces the previous Disabled Facilities Grant policy, enabling Rossendale residents access to a greater breadth of support.

The aims are to provide home adaptations to help improve the lives of people with disabilities; reduce hospital admissions and allow early hospital discharge and reduce the need for domiciliary and residential care by allowing people with disabilities to live more independently in their own homes.

Councillor Barbara Ashworth said: “This new policy has been designed to help far more people in a more practical way than the previous one, which was quite restrictive as to what the grant money could be used for. 

“The handyperson service for instance will allow older people, over 65, disabled and vulnerable people to apply for work to be done that tradespeople often don’t want to undertake as they’re deemed to be too small or minor. It could be putting up a curtain rail, installing grab rails or temporary ramps, changing lightbulbs or moving furniture. These are small jobs really but they are things that can make a huge difference to helping someone live independently.”

Christine O’Neil, whose son Christopher is registered disabled, said : “The funding from Rossendale Borough Council has been great for us. It's not just about adapting our home; it's about transforming our lives and making things easier for Christopher and us as a family. 

“The occupational therapist came and did the assessment and made the application, so it wasn’t a hassle for us. We initially requested just a new changing table but after the assessment it was decided that the bathroom area needed reconfiguring to make it more suitable for Christopher’s needs. It’s made a huge difference and Christopher is really pleased with it too. 

“Without this support we just wouldn’t have been able to make these adjustments.” 

Cllr Ashworth added: “We’re aware that many people who may benefit from this policy may not be able to access the information or even know that they can get help with some of these things, so we’re encouraging family, friends, neighbours and anyone who thinks they may know someone who could benefit to get in touch and at least find out.”

Further information about the grants, eligibility and how to make an application can be found on the council's website https://bit.ly/RBCHAP