Imelda Munster TD.
Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has accused the government of hypocrisy over their continued underfunding of Housing Adaptation Grants for older people and people with a disability in Co. Louth, despite the fact that there are currently 460 applications outstanding.
Deputy Munster said it was a “damning indictment” of the previous Labour and Fine Gael government’s decision to remove long stay and respite beds from the Cottage Hospital, as the government is now not making adequate provision for people to live independently in their own homes.
Deputy Munster revealed that Louth County Council are currently dealing with 460 applications for Housing Adaptation Grants. This figure includes 138 rollovers from last year that they could not process because of lack of funding.
“76 of these were deemed to be highest priority” she said. “Louth County Council recently received this year’s funding allocation, and it is totally inadequate.
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“The excuse given by Labour and Fine Gael when they removed long stay and respite beds for the Cottage Hospital was that they would allow older people and people living with disabilities to live independently at home with the supports they need.
“These waiting lists prove otherwise.
“Seriously ill patients cannot get basics like wet rooms, or stair-lifts.
“The government must increase this funding to allow people to live with dignity in their own homes, with supports appropriate to their needs. This is the responsibility of government.
“The government’s response yesterday was wholly inadequate. It’s simply not good enough, given the dire need for housing adaptations for people who are seriously ill.
“It’s hypocritical of government to say that they want to support independent living for older people, and yet refuse to adequately fund the very basics, such as wet rooms or stair-lifts to enable people to do exactly that.”