Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Questions (137)

Arthur Spring

Question:

137. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 507 of 25 February 2014, if the same guidelines were issued to all local authorities in relation to the administration of the housing aid for older people; and if the guidelines contained information in relation to the exemption for applicants under the age limit based on hardship grounds or where specific advice is provided by medical professionals. [14262/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Housing Aid for Older People Scheme (HAOP) provides grants of up to € 8,000 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out to their homes. Grant-eligible works include structural repairs or improvements, re-wiring, repairs to or replacement of windows and doors, provision of water supply and sanitary facilities, provision of heating, cleaning, painting etc.

Some changes to the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability were made earlier this year on foot of the report by a review group, established in 2013 by my Department to examine the terms and conditions governing the suite of grants. The aim of the review was to spread the benefits of the schemes as widely as possible and to ensure fairness and value for money in their operation. While the age limit for eligibility under the HAOP has been increased from 60 to 66 years, a lower age limit can apply at the discretion of the local authority in certain cases. The detailed administration of the scheme , including the assessment, approval and payment of grants to applicants, is the responsibility of the relevant local authority. Revised guidelines for the administration and operation of the scheme have issued to all local authorities.