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28 Jun 2022

Government must review Housing Adaptation Grants without delay – Lowry

The overarching goals for housing policy should be affordability, sustainability, equality, and social inclusion - Lowry

Construction

HOusing adaptation grants should be reviewed immediately says Lowry

The failure to review Housing Grants has resulted in them becoming outdated and ineffective. It has reached the point that they are now preventing older people and those with a disability from remaining in their own homes, according to Deputy Michael Lowry and the Regional Group of TDs.


In a Private Members Motion, they are now urging the Government to review Housing Adaptation Grants for older people and people with a disability without further delay.


Deputy Lowry believes that the failure to revise the Housing Aid for Older People Grant, the Mobility Aids Grant and the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability is now leading to these vital supports acting as a barrier for people to live independently in their own homes and remain in their communities.


‘The Government needs to be constantly reminded that the overarching goals for housing policy should be affordability, sustainability, equality, and social inclusion. Many older people and people with a disability are unable to live in their own homes until essential adaptation works are completed, which can take significant periods’ he says.


The Regional Group members as a whole are calling on the Government to ensure that the grants are linked to the cost of the specific works as a percentage of the cost. Grants must allow discretion for people with disabilities to ensure that the grants meet the individual needs of the disabled person to live independently.


The current maximum grant is €30,000, which fails to meet rising construction costs. Furthermore, Grant rates are subject to the funding of each City or County Council. Therefore, the Council can decide whether it pays the full grant or a percentage in each case and Councils require additional resources to manage the schemes and reflect the higher construction and material costs.


Regional Group TDs noted there are also unacceptable delays in the adaptation of Council homes to cater for the needs of older tenants and tenants with a disability and/or those people living in overcrowded conditions in Council properties.


‘It is time to increase the Budget allocated by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to ensure that Grant Schemes can meet demand and reflect the increase in construction costs,” says Deputy Lowry.

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