Habinteg Housing Association Bramley, Leeds. Ian Whetham in his home.

The Republic of Ireland Government has confirmed that €73.75m (£66.6m) will be made available for housing adaptations but a charity for older people has stated more is needed to keep pace with demand.

Announced by Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the increased Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability funding will support people with disabilities and mobility issues in private homes to live independently for longer.

“I am pleased to be in a position to increase the funding again for this important scheme in 2020, with all local authorities receiving an increase in funding compared to their 2019 allocation,” commented Minister O’Brien.

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“These grants have had 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.”

Grants of up to €30k (£27.1k) will be used to carry out necessary works to make a house more suitable for the resident’s needs, with up to €8k (£7.2) available to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out.

In addition, up to €6k (£5.4k) will be accessible to fund mobility aids aimed at addressing mobility problems for a member of the household.

The grants are 80 per cent funded from the exchequer by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with 20 per cent funding from the relevant local authority.

According to the government, the grants will also create employment opportunities for builders and local businesses while reducing the dependency on the nation’s health services, as well as facilitating quicker hospital discharges.

Responding to the announcement, ALONE, a charity providing vital assistance to older people in Ireland, welcomed the funding allocation but stressed more funding is needed to ensure that Ireland’s growing ageing population can age at home safely and securely.

A 2018 report by ALONE suggested investment of €84.5m (£76.3m) a year is required over the next decade in adaptation grants to keep up with the needs of the rapidly shifting demographics.

“The extensive need for home adaptations for older people was emphasised by COVID-19; it is clear that we need more latitude across the country to support older people to age at home for as long as possible,” commented Seán Moynihan, Chief Executive of ALONE.

“By 2031, just under one-quarter of our population will be aged 60 or over – years ago, the grant would have offered much more money but now, when we have an additional quarter of a million older people, we require much more to cater for our ageing population. In 2020, housing issues have been the third-highest need that we get calls for assistance from.”

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/accessible-housing-shortage-call-Age-UK-Habinteg.jpg?fit=1000%2C664&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/accessible-housing-shortage-call-Age-UK-Habinteg.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettGovernment & Local AuthoritiesHousingInvestments & FundingNewsroomSector NewsALONE,COVID-19,Darragh O’Brien,disabled people,funding,grants,housing adaptations,investment,Ireland,local authorities,Mobility aids,older people,The Republic of IrelandThe Republic of Ireland Government has confirmed that €73.75m (£66.6m) will be made available for housing adaptations but a charity for older people has stated more is needed to keep pace with demand.Announced by Darragh O’Brien, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the increased Housing Adaptation Grants for...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals