Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

47.

asked the Minister for the Environment when a new house grant will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare.

The grant will be paid when an inspection establishes that the house has been satisfactorily completed and occupied and that all the conditions of the grant scheme have been fulfilled.

The applicant has been requested to submit further documentation in support of his application. When this is received his file will be referred to the Department's inspector for investigation and report.

48.

asked the Minister for the Environment the reason for the long delay in carrying out a new house grant inspection for a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; when this inspection will now take place; and if he will arrange that prior notice of visit be given to the applicant and that this application be now considered for a £2,000 grant.

49.

asked the Minister for the Environment the reason for the long delay in carrying out a new house grant inspection for a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; when this inspection will now take place; and if he will arrange that prior notice of visit be given to the applicant.

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 49 together.

The very high number of applications for house improvement grants — about 126,000 to date — has given rise to delays beyond the normal in carrying out inspections from time to time in some areas. However, the position is constantly monitored and staff are redeployed as required. In these cases inspections will be carried out, by appointment, within the next few weeks at which stage decisions will be made as to the rates of grant applicable.

50.

asked the Minister for the Environment when a house improvement grant will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath.

The grant will be paid within the next few weeks.

51.

asked the Minister for the Environment the reason an inspector, after seven months, finally visited the house of a new house grant applicant (details supplied) in County Westmeath without prior notice despite repeated requests; and when this inspection by appointment will now take place.

An appointment card was posted to this applicant well in advance but the inspector has reported that he was unable to gain access to the house when he called. However, following external inspection of the House, the applicant has been advised regarding outstanding works. A further inspection, by appointment, will be arranged when notification is received that these works have been completed.