Aids and adaptations

We want to make sure your home is right for you and will always try to provide a home that’s
suitable for your needs and the needs of other members of your household.

If you, or a member of your family, become disabled, or have a disability which effects your enjoyment of your home, we might be able to help by providing you with a home that is adapted to your needs, or adapting your existing Red Kite home.

For example, we may be able to provide a level access shower, an outside ramp, grab rails, or a stairlift to take the effort out of climbing stairs.

Aids and adaptations - your questions answered

We may already have a home with adaptations that would suit you. We will always try to match you to a home that fits your needs, including adapted homes. In these cases, we’ll make it clear in our advert that the home is adapted so you can contact us to find out more about whether it will work for you.

We will not usually adapt a home in the first few months of your tenancy, except in exceptional circumstances. Instead, it’s important that you are matched with the right home in the first place. When talking to us about becoming a tenant, please make it clear if you have any specific needs that may need to be considered. For example, if you have mobility issues, we will try to match you to a ground floor home rather than a home with stairs. It’s very important that you tell us what you need early in the process.

How can I apply for an adaptation?

The local authority are responsible for assessing for aids and adaptations, so they should be your first port of call. You can find out more and contact them online or on 01296 387024.

After their assessment, some of your needs may be met by equipment provided by the Community Occupational Therapy (COT) Service, or they might recommend adaptations to your home. If so, they will send us a report with suggestions of how we may be able to help.

We understand how important these changes are to you, so we’ll always do our best to help. Requests are considered by our Housing, Adaptations and Lettings Panel (HALP), who are a group of staff with specialist knowledge in occupational therapy, our homes, and our sheltered schemes. We can’t always adapt a home, and there are a few situations where the request won’t be approved. These include:

  • The layout or location of the home makes it unsuitable
  • There is a severe tenancy breach, including arrears
  • You are under- or over-occupying and could apply for a home more suited to the number of people living there
  • The works would devalue the property significantly or make it hard to let in the future
  • The household is being investigated for possible fraud or non-occupation
  • The works wouldn’t resolve the issue long-term, or wouldn’t make a significant improvement to your current situation
  • The cost of the adaptation(s) would be excessive
  • It’s not practical or reasonable.

In these cases, we would recommend moving home through a mutual exchange (check out HomeSwapper) or by registering on Bucks Home Choice for a home that will work better for you.

How long will it take before I receive a decision from the Housing, Adaptations and Lettings Panel (HALP)?

HALP meetings are scheduled every three weeks. So, it depends when your request reaches us. We will take it to the next HALP review meeting and will look at the case and discuss next steps. Sometimes we need more information, a site visit, or feasibility calculations. In these cases, we’ll arrange for that information to be gathered. If we ask a question about your request, it’s important to provide as much information as possible. This information is then fed back at the next HALP meeting, where, if we have all the information we need, a decision will be made. You’ll then be told about that decision, and the next steps.

How long will it take to install my adaptation?

Timescales will depend on the type of adaptation you’re having, and the complexity of the installation. But we’ll make sure we stay in touch to let you know when things will go ahead, and which contractor will be installing your adaptation. They will then be in contact to arrange a convenient time to start work.

Will the equipment you are fitting be brand new?

Our equipment is brand new unless we have something suitable already in our stock. We may occasionally reuse an item, but it’s assessed on a case-by-case basis and if something is reused it's chemically cleaned and serviced (where applicable) before installation.

Who will show me how to use the adaptation safely?

This should be done by the Community Occupational Therapy (COT) Service who recommended the adaptation, or at a further assessment. We can’t show you how to use your new adaptation, but if you feel unsure you should get back in touch with COT for their help with this.

Who will maintain the adaptation?

We will maintain the adaptation if we have installed it. If it becomes damaged we may recharge you for the cost of its repair or replacement. Installations by the local authority, such as hoists, are maintained by them. We simply give permission for them to be installed.

What can I do if the adaptation doesn’t help?

You would need to get back in touch with COT as they are the experts. They can make some alternative suggestions. If a further adaptation is needed, the Housing, Adaptations and Lettings Panel decision process will be followed as before.

This may be an adaptation that was there when you moved in, or may be something that was installed for you, but that you no longer need. We’ll remove minor adaptations like grab rails and shower seats, and we’ll fill the screw holes with filler for you. But we won’t replace tiles if they’re impacted by an adaptation being removed.

We won’t remove major adaptations like level access showers. These are part of the property at the point that you took it on. However, we do remove hoists and stairlifts before you move in, so please let us know if you have something like this in your home and were not expecting it.

The home I live in has a walk-in shower that I don’t need, and I would like a bath – will you change it for me?

No. We may give permission for you to change the level access shower to a standard bathroom, but you’ll need to request approval for these types of changes to your home. The cost of those changes will be your responsibility.

To request permission to make a change like this, send us an email – to – and tell us what you’d like to do, with as much detail as you can. Include sketches or pictures where possible, and the name of the contractor you’d like to use.

Every few years, we assess elements of your home to make sure they’re still in good working order. When your bathroom reaches the end of its life, we may replace it with another level access shower, or with a standard bathroom. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will partly depend on whether there are also other adaptations in place around your home.

You can find out more about aids and adaptations in our Adaptations Policy.