Home adaptations and things you can do
Local authorities can provide financial help if you need to repair, improve or adapt your home for health reasons.
You could, for example, apply for help to install a stair lift or ramp, or to put in central heating. Help includes Disabled Facilities Grants. For more information, contact your local authority (council) or visit the Direct Gov website
How can I claim?
Contact your local authority (council).
In Northern Ireland
If you or someone living in your home has a disability, you may be eligible for help to adapt your home from your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive or housing association.
You could, for example, apply for help to install a stair lift or a ground floor toilet. You can apply regardless of whether you rent or own your home. You'll need an assessment by an occupational therapist (unless it’s a minor adaptation like fitting a hand rail) or a designated member of housing staff.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive also has a grants scheme to help improve domestic property in the private sector. You may be eligible for financial help to repair, improve or adapt your home if you own it or rent it privately. There are different types of grants available, including Disabled Facilities Grants.
How can I claim?
Contact your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive office or visit the nidirect website.
Adaptations to keep your home warm
There are many things you can do to keep your energy bill down and make your home warmer without turning up the heating.
When you put the kettle on, only boil the amount of water you need.
Turn off computers and other electrical devices when you’re not using them. On average, IT equipment accounts for 13% of people’s electricity bills.
Energy-saving light bulbs can save you lots of money over time. Even turning lights off for a short period will save energy, so it’s a good idea to always turn the lights off whenever you’re not using a room.
Keep the heat in by shutting doors and windows in the rooms you use the most.
Don’t cover radiators with curtains or furniture, and seal gaps around doors with draft excluders.
For more tips on making your home more energy efficient and saving money, visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
Fitting insulation to your home is a big step but could make all the difference. The schemes listed in our heating grants section may help with the cost. All of the major fuel companies also provide either free or discounted insulation. Many local authorities also have schemes. Contact the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 for information on schemes in your area.
The Green Deal - help with home insulation
The Green Deal is a new scheme that the government introduced as part of the Energy Act 2011. The Green Deal is due to come into effect in late 2012 - so until then, you may be best off contacting your energy supplier to find out if you’re eligible for free or discounted insulation.
The Green Deal is designed to help you make energy-saving changes to your home without paying the costs up front. Instead, you can pay the cost through a regular payment on your electricity bill. The cost should be less than the savings you make on your fuel bills. The Green Deal charge is attached to the meter and will pass on to the next occupant of the home if you stop living there.
Some people who receive certain benefits will not have to pay any costs at all. The energy companies will pay these costs instead. Visit the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s website to find out more about the scheme.
See our section on ways to keep warm without the worry for more information about managing your energy bills when you're affected by cancer.