Minister O’Brien approves €18 million in funding for Housing Adaptation Schemes
Minister O’Brien approves some €18 million in funding for the Disabled Persons Grant Scheme and the Improvement Works in Lieu of Local Authority Housing Scheme
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has today (9 September) approved funding of approximately €18 million for the Disabled Persons Grant scheme (DPG) and Improvement Works In Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs).
The DPG scheme provides funding for extensions and adaptations to existing social housing stock for older people and people with a disability such as grab rails, disabled access ramps, wet rooms, downstairs bedrooms etc. The scheme also provides extensions in cases of overcrowding.
The Improvement Works in Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs) allows local authorities to improve or extend privately owned accommodation, where the applicant has been approved for social housing. It allows those who are otherwise eligible for social housing to remain in private housing and for enhancements to that housing.
Welcoming the funding Minister O’Brien said, “This will greatly improve the housing conditions for our older tenants and those living with disabilities. It will also address issues of overcrowding in existing social housing stock, while improvement works on private homes in lieu of social housing also provides an alternative for those currently experiencing overcrowding in private accommodation.
“These grants have a huge 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.
“Funding has been increasing year on year under this scheme and this year’s allocation is a 19% increase on 2019 levels. It is a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to improving the lives of older people and people with a disability,” the Minister concluded.
The Disabled Persons Grant scheme (DPG) and Improvement Works In Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs) are administered directly by Local Authorities.
Exchequer funding meets 90% of the cost of the works in each property, with the local authority providing the remaining 10%.
The €18 million in funding being allocated today, comprises almost €2 million in accrued commitments from 2019, preliminary allocations of €13.5 million towards the 2020 funding requests based on percentage of housing stock in local authority ownership, while a contingency of €2.5 million has been set aside. It is acknowledged that some local authorities may have contractual commitments which will give rise to financial commitments in 2020 that will exceed the allocation now being notified to them. The contingency therefore, will ensure that those local authorities are not placed in a difficult financial situation and it will be open to them to apply for additional funding in respect of contractual commitments.
The Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness includes a comprehensive Five Pillar approach – these pillars are the foundations upon which we will build our plan. They are open to debate, additions and amendments, but for now they will be our starting point for immediate action.
This is an initiative of the Government of Ireland