Deputy Imelda Munster.
Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has repeated her call for the Government to ensure that sufficient funding is allocated to clear the backlog of housing adaptation grant, mobility aid grant and housing for older people grant applications.
Deputy Munster raised the matter in the Dáil with Minister of State Kieran O'Donnell after Louth County Council stopped accepting new applications at the end of April.
“There are, shamefully, almost 600 of our most vulnerable people in Louth currently on these waiting lists, many of them waiting years” Deputy Munster said.
“Ever since these grants were introduced there has always been a waiting list, applicants were carried over year on year, there has never been sufficient funding.
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“But for Louth County Council to stop taking applications due to lack of funding and being unable to clear the backlog due to lack of funding, in 2023, when the government tells us that the country is awash with money, is a new low.
“This is not the first time I have had to raise this issue with government ministers. They must realise that every single applicant is a person with health and mobility issues.
“Every application represents a person struggling to stay in their own homes with the support of loved ones.
“There will be more vulnerable people in the coming months who will need to apply for these grants but won’t be able to because of insufficient funding from government.
“It doesn’t make financial sense for the government not to properly fund these grants. It will cost the state more in the long-term paying for respite care or nursing homes.
Finishing, Deputy Munster said “These grants were introduced in 2007 and it should not take this government 16 years to learn how to adequately finance them.
“Minister O Donnell said he had just received a proposal from his department to review the housing adaption grant schemes and how they are funding local authorities to do them, so I am glad I raised it as there may be some light at the end of the tunnel on this issue at last.”