€59.8million to improve the Homes Elderly and Disabled – Minister Coveney

Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.
Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D., today announced that €59.8 million will be made available in 2017 for Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability living in private houses.

This investment will allow extensions to be built for people with a disability as well as housing adaptations to improve mobility aid. Improvements such as stair lifts, access ramps, downstairs toilet facilities will come under the remit of the scheme.

Announcement Welcomed by Cllr. O’Connell

Welcoming the announcement of the grant aid, Minister Coveney’s party colleague and potential supporter, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell welcomed the announcement.

“This will make a huge difference to the homes of elderly people and to those who look after them in many cases.

“The work will enhance lives and the facilities in the homes of people who would otherwise have to go into a care facility or hospital.

“The scheme is also designed to care for the carer and make it easier for them to look after an elderly person in their own home – and that’s where a lot of people wish to remain anyway for as long as they can. The money is there and people should avail of it,” said Cllr. O’Connell.

Cllr. Bobby O'Connell welcomed today's announcement by Minister Coveney. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Cllr. Bobby O’Connell welcomed today’s announcement by Minister Coveney. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Independent Living

At the launch this morning, Minister Coveney said he is delighted to announce that funding of €59.8million is being made available in 2017. This, he said, will provide older people and people with a disability with the opportunity to continue independent living in their own homes for as long as possible – and with the comfort and dignity that they deserve.

“It is particularly pleasing that I have been able to increase the funding allocations, in all 31 local authorities. 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,” said Minister Coveney.

Local Authority Contribution

The available exchequer funding for 2017 is €47.8m, an increase of 6% on the 2016 figure of €45m. Combined with the local authority contribution, the overall funding is now €59.8m.

Both Rebuilding Ireland and the Programme for Government support further increases in funding for the scheme, with Rebuilding Ireland undertaking to increase the target of the scheme drawdown to 10,000 homes in 2017 (from 8,000 in 2016).

House Improvement Grants - a county by county rundown. Click to enlarge.
House Improvement Grants – a county by county rundown. Click to enlarge.

The grants are 80% funded from the Exchequer by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority.  Grants are payable in the main to owner-occupied (private) housing. 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.

Boost to Construction Sector

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.

“This funding is part of the Government commitment to housing and it provides significant social benefit by facilitating citizens to continue the independent occupancy of their own homes.

“The additional funding which I am providing for this Programme in 2017 will allow local authorities increase the number of citizens they can support and, in addition, it will provide a boost to the construction sector nationally, with the benefits being spread to local economies across the country,” Minister Coveney concluded.

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