Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (466)

Brendan Smith

Question:

466. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if additional funding will be allocated to local authorities in respect of the housing adaptation grant for persons with a disability, housing for older persons scheme and mobility aids grant schemes; if the local authority funding requirement will be reduced; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are substantial delays in having such applications approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29010/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The funding provided for the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Scheme to support people living in private houses, has increased year on year since 2014 and I have made a total of €71.25 million available nationally in 2019 for the schemes, which is an increase of some 8% on the 2018 funding.

The approach each year is to issue a single full year allocation to each local authority, so they can plan and implement the grants programme. Over the course of the year, my Department works closely with the local authorities to monitor spend and to achieve a full drawdown of the available funding. This means that if underspends arise on the part of some local authorities, they can be redistributed to other authorities which have high levels of grant activity.

Given that the level of exchequer commitment to these grants has been increased in recent years, I am keen that the full impact is achieved from these increases. Accordingly, I do not propose to assign the increased exchequer funding to substitute for, or to reduce, the local authority contribution.