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DFG application. - Carers UK Forum

DFG application.

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Just want to share our problems with obtaining adaptations for our disabilities in our home.

We asked for some much needed disabled adaptations in our home and please consider I was a building designer and had quite a lot of experience in housing and in particular social housing design.

We originally applied in about 2008 but after being horrendously messed around by our local authority landlords we were turned down although they did not tell us, the just stopped talking to us. This is fairly normal practise with local government departments. We were assessed at home by the councils in-house OT specialist and we felt confident that they had covered our needs well. The disabled adaptation needs included provision of a downstairs WC/cloakroom.
We never saw copies of our assessments and we had no further communications.
Despite us phoning, writing letters, emailing and complaining for months, the council still did not communicate with us. Seems to be their first option for saving money to ignore you and hope you go away. So I contacted our MP who then wrote to the council boss and asked him to tell us the decision and what they would do. The CEO wrote a letter to our MP saying this house is unsuitable for our future needs and therefore they wouldn't pay for any disabled adaptations. News to us I assure you. This dishonest excuse is still being used to deny us essential adaptations to stay in our home and enjoy some quality of life. I am seeing a neurologist for my first clinic with suspected MS or possibly Lymes disease this week. Another one to add to the list. It took me 1 year of battling with our new GP practise to obtain a referral to get a diagnosis. The senior partner thought I wasn't worth the effort and as I'm not going to get any better anyway.......

Here we are 9 years later in the same house which the council claimed was unsuitable for our future needs and with only some of the more simple and basic disabled adaptations we need carried out which were done by other means not the DFG or by the council.
Some were done and paid for my the social care dept of the county council and some were paid for by the builders who did the Decent Homes works in 2015 out of their care and sympathy for the way the council had treated us so badly and the bluntly obvious adaptations we need. The same council CEO lied to the Housing Ombudsman saying the adaptations were organised and paid for by them. At least the council are very consistent in one way, in the way they lie.

Our house was rotting and crumbling due to decades of lack of repair and investment. By 2014 the council was still nowhere near having done even half of its housing stock with its legal obligation under the EU "Decent Homes Act".
This house was disgusting and presented serious health and safety hazards. Black mould in every room especially the kitchen near to where food was prepared, Only partial electric heating to some rooms and an electric immersion heater for hot water all on pre-pay meter, the windows and external doors did not close properly and had large gaps around them, all of the double glazed units had thermally failed, the bedrooms had splintered planks as floorboards and nails and screws sticking out of them. There was hardly any insulation in the roof space, we had problems with squirrels and goodness knows what else getting into the attic and floor space between ground and first floors and into the chimney breast, the kitchen door (side door to garden) was covered in black mould and was a half glazed wooden door with thin decorative glass in the top and 1/4" rotting plywood in the bottom half (zero security), the same door opened inwards but left an 8* drop immediately outside the door threshold. Not good in winter when the ground was wet, slimey or iced, the kitchen units were rotting and falling apart, we repaired the doors and drawer fronts becasue they had a habit of falling off on your feet and the council refused several times to repair them, the wall cupboard doors had a metal strip along the bottom which doubled as the door handles and had very sharp outside corners which we had both badly cut our heads on several times but the council refused to replace them, the council refused to address the black mould all over the house and especially the kitchen, the only extract fan was too far from the gas cooker and was condemned by the councils gas safety engineers every year but nothing was done about it. The gas fire was shut down in the living room over safety issues with the flue which removed the only source of heating in the living/dining area, the kitchen had no heating, the front door had a huge wooden threshold which we both regularly tripped over, there were 3/4" wooden trip hazards at every internal door threshold in the house, we could not access most of each rooms power sockets, we had a totally inadequate number of wall sockets, the fuseboard was so old it had bakelight fittings and no front cover, the front garden has a very muddy lawn to traverse to get to the bin store and recycling boxes, we had to live downstairs with no heating apart from one small electric fan heater and a max temperature of 8 degrees indoors for years, on prepay electric meters it cost an arm and a leg to heat the house and for hot water, but then again most of he 1960s night storage heaters didn't work.

We tried to get some of the works done under the council repairs and improvements budgets.
But the in-house council surveyor who actually worked for himself under contract to the council in breach of IR35, often came and looked at the problems, he would say oh yes he would get A,B, C etc done and we never saw him again and he wouldn't answer phone calls or reply to our letters. He is a liar basically.

From 2008 it took another 3 years until they installed a new gas fired central heating system but did nothing else. However with a totally thermally inefficient building fabric it was a huge waste of our money and energy.

Prior to that we had a different council surveyor come to the home with a private company man who used a thermal imaging camera. They asked us in a letter to let this guy do a thermal survey of our home and for us to have the electric heating on all day before he came. Just to make it look not as bad as it was in reality.
Most of the internal walls came out blue on the thermal imaging camera and some spot measures showed very low temperatures. From the outside the windows and external doors glowed bright orange because of the huge heat loss. So the council surveyor and his thermal surveying mate arrived at about 5pm as scheduled and then asked us which local pub they could get hot food from? They popped out for a nice hot dinner and then came back 1 1/2 hours later to do the survey. They thought the gaps around the DG windows in our bedroom was hilarious and laughed at the blue internal wall thermal imaging, to them it was highly amusing. A £70,000 camera, I wonder how much that cost the council to hire per hour? Including a nice hot meal in a local pub.
The days worth of electric heating we could not afford so we had to cut back in other areas. But at least they had a nice hot meal at the pub hey? Our home was often used as a drop-in for council office staff, Seems like it was used as an excuse for an afternoon out of the office on expenses. The council staff never did anything to help us they just strung us along.

Living in 8 degrees maximum indoors over winter was hard considering our health issues which this had a severe impact on. The local council are ruthless and absolutely arrogant in the extreme. They had the money to do this work but choose to use dishonesty and then eventually bullying to spend the money on their own preferred grandiose civic projects.
That's an ongoing situation whereby they lie to block DFG applications so they can spend more on themselves. They claim the annual DFG funding from central government knowing full well they will only spend a small percentage on its intended purpose. Fraud in any other language.

More to add later in this ongoing saga :)
I will tell you about the council blackmailing and bullying us.
Need to rest a bit now. ;)
Make a Subject Access Request to the council, askig for copies of dverything they have on file sbout you and your home since ...whenever all this started. Should they fail to provide the information within 40 days, contact the Information Commissioner.
Very few people make SARs as they don't know about them. When I made one I was dismayed at the unprofessional way officers were making comments about me which were totally untrue. It was a real turning point.