Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (198, 199)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

198. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his plans to commission a strategic review of the housing adaptation grant scheme to examine current and projected demand; if he will examine the feasibility of centralising the application process and make recommendations on the way the scheme can better meet the needs of older people, people with disabilities and carers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33717/13]

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Brendan Griffin

Question:

199. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position in relation to funding for housing departments in local authorities (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33723/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 198 and 199 together.

On 22 February 2013 I announced capital allocations to local authorities under the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability amounting to €42.750 million. This year I allocated local authorities the full amount of their contractual commitments and the balance of the available funding was allocated on the basis of each authority’s share of the new applications on hand in January 2013.

A small capital reserve was set aside to deal with any acute or particular difficulty which might arise in the operation of the schemes over the course of the year. Following requests from 13 local authorities for supplementary funding, I subsequently approved additional allocations totalling €1.2 million. I am continuing to keep the position in relation to finding under review. My Department is currently reviewing the operation of the grant schemes in consultation with the local authorities and groups representing older people and people with disabilities with the objective of targeting those in most need and ensuring that the maximum numbers of households can benefit from these schemes. My Department will continue to explore all opportunities to stretch the available resources, including through co-operation with the Health Service Executive and other agencies. I intend to announce revised terms and conditions for the grant schemes later this year.