22/03/2016

Over €56m Announced To Improve Homes Of Older People And People With Disabilities

More than €56 million has been announced for improvement works to the homes of older people and people with a disability.

Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly and Minister of State for Housing & Planning, Paudie Coffey announced that €56.25 million will be made available in 2016 for Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability living in private houses.

The funding being announced by the Ministers for 2016 represents an increase of €5.75 million on the funding allocated for 2015. Every local authority will be getting more funding allocated for housing adaptation grants in 2016 than they actually spent in 2015. By making the allocation in February, local authorities will be in a better position to maximize their spend on these works which will help more elderly and vulnerable people.

The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority. Grants are payable in the main to owner-occupied (private) housing, and also eligible are houses being purchased under the tenant purchase scheme, private rented accommodation, accommodation provided under voluntary housing schemes and accommodation occupied by persons living in communal residences. Grants of up to €30,000 are available for an adaptation, up to €8,000 for housing aid for older people and up to €6,000 for mobility aids.

Minister Kelly stated: "These grants provide older people and people with a disability the opportunity to continue independent living in their own homes for as long as possible, with the comfort and dignity that they deserve. I am particularly pleased that we have made available a significant increase in funding for 2016 for this important programme. The grants that are made available, whether large or small, can greatly improve the quality of life of people with a disability or who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile."

Minister Coffey added: "This funding is part of a huge Government commitment to housing and it provides significant social benefit by facilitating citizens to continue the independent occupancy of their own homes. The funding will allow local authorities increase the number of citizens they can support through this programme and, in addition, it will provide a boost to the construction sector nationally, with the benefits being spread to local economies across the country."

(MH/LM)

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