Written Answers. - Housing Grants.

Brendan Smith

Question:

735 Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will outline the details of the essential repairs grant schemes following the 1999 Budget Statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2074/99]

Under the essential repairs grant scheme local authorities can pay a grant for the carrying out of essential repairs to certain unfit houses. Significant improvements to the terms and conditions of the scheme were announced as part of the 1999 budget. The effective maximum grant has increased from £1,800 to £4,500. In addition, the scheme will operate in urban as well as rural areas. Details of the improved terms of the scheme were notified to local authorities by circular letter HGS 4/98 of 3 December 1998.

Brendan Smith

Question:

736 Mr. B. Smith asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will outline the details of the disabled person's grant schemes following the 1999 Budget Statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2075/99]

Under the disabled persons grant scheme grants are available from local authorities towards the adaptation of existing houses to meet the needs of disabled people. Significant improvements to the terms and conditions of the scheme were announced as part of the 1999 budget. The effective maximum grant has been increased by 50 per cent from £8,000 to £12,000. In addition, the grant can now cover three-quarters of the approved cost of the works to private houses compared to two-thirds previously subject to the maximum amount of the grant which is set by the local authority. Details of the improved terms of the scheme were notified to local authorities by circular letter HGS 4/98 of 3 December 1998.