05 Jul 2022

Louth councillor highlights 'inadequate' funding of Housing Adaptation Grants

Cllr McGeough raises issue at Louth County Council May meeting

Louth councillor highlights 'inadequate' funding of Housing Adaptation Grants

Louth councillor highlights 'inadequate' funding of Housing Adaptation Grants

Ardee councillor, Pearse McGeough raised the issue of inadequate funding of the Disabled Person’s Grants and the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme, at the Louth County Council May meeting. Acknowledging that there had been a significant increase in funding from the Government this year compared to previous years, Cllr McGeough said “it falls far short of what is needed.”

The Disabled Person’s Grant and Housing Adaptation Grants is designed to help fund adaptations to a home in the case of illness or disability to enable that person that remain living independently at home for longer. It can entail anything from the installation of a stairlift to a complete renovation.

Speaking at the May meeting, Cllr McGeough said that there are around 820 people on the waiting list in Louth for a private house grant. This is a grant scheme which provides assistance for the elderly and the disabled and includes Housing Adaptation Grants, Housing for Older People grants, and Mobility Aid Grants. At the meeting, Cllr McGeough asked how many people are categorised as Priority 1. In response, Director of Services Paddy Donnelly said that they would revert to him with the number. He added however that not all applicants had yet been visited by an occupational therapist, so it wouldn't be possible yet to determine the total number of people who are Priority 1.

Cllr McGeough explained to the Dundalk Democrat that, "when a person makes an application they are categorised into one of three priorities. Priority 1 is for a person who is terminally ill or fully or mainly dependent on their family carer. Also where adaptations or alterations to the home would facilitate their discharge from hospital or alleviate the need for hospitalisation in the future.

“This is my main concern. Works in this category are urgent and need to be carried out within weeks if not days and yet Priority 1 applicants are waiting in excess of two years. 630 applicants were rolled over into 2022 from last year and already there has been 194 new applications this year which would suggest that the number rolling into 2023 could be over 800."

The Sinn Féin councillor said however, “let me be clear, this is not the fault of Louth County Council, they spend every cent they receive from central government on the housing adaptations, the blame lies squarely at the feet of the Government who need to invest more into this scheme across the State. During Covid we had Leo Varadkar telling us how it would be preferential for older people to be able to remain in their homes instead of going into nursing homes but the reality is, unless the government get serious about this, people will have no option but to go into homes or hospital because their own homes are not suitable for their needs.”

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