Deputy Fergus O'Dowd.
Over €1.7m has been made available to support home adaptations for older people, people with a disability and people with mobility issues in County Louth which is an increase of €200,000 on last year.
The funding, the exact amount is €1,706,802, will enable more older people and people with disabilities to remain living independently in their own homes for longer and will also facilitate early returns from hospital.
Deputy Fergus O’Dowd said: “We have seen significant delays and funding constraints in this particular area over the last number of years in County Louth, this increase of over €200k for 2019 should make a positive impact but much more funding will be needed in this area if we are to transition effectively to having people remain in their homes for longer.
“This announcement follows on from the launch last week of our policy document ‘Housing Options for Our Ageing Population’, which committed further resources from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for this scheme.
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“These grants have an immense impact on the quality of life of the many beneficiaries and play a vitally important role in helping people with a disability and people who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile, to continue to live independently in their own homes.”
Deputy O’Dowd continued: “Grants of up to €30,000 are available to assist people with a disability in carrying out necessary works to make a house more suitable for their needs, up to €8,000 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out and up to €6,000 for mobility aids to address mobility problems for a member of the household.
“The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, with 20% funding from Louth County Council.
“The grants also create employment opportunities for builders and local businesses and help reduce the dependency on our health services by supporting independent living for as long as possible.”
Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Mr Damien English, said: “I am pleased to be in a position to increase the funding for this important scheme by some 8% in 2019.
“All local authorities will be getting an increase in 2019 compared to their 2018 allocation. Last year these grants assisted over 9,400 households and this year I expect that some 11,800 households will benefit from the schemes.”