Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (850)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

850. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of grants paid by each local authority to enable home adaptations to facilitate persons with disabilities or older persons live in or return to their homes from acute hospitals in each of the past three years; the average grant paid per local authority for each of the past three years; the average contribution per applicant; the length of waiting time from application to payment of grant in each of the past three years; if a panel of approved builders has been developed for each local authority; if so, the criteria for such approval; and if consideration will be given to establishing a working group with the Department of Health, the HSE, relevant non-government organisations and organisations (details supplied) to facilitate faster transfers of care from acute hospitals to homes in which physical environment adaptations are required. [29651/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department provides funding under the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, to assist people in private houses to make their accommodation more suitable for their needs.  Details on the number of grants paid and the amount spent for the past three years by all local authorities, are available on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/social-and-affordble/other-local-authority-housing-scheme-statistics

The average grant paid per local authority can also be obtained from this information.

The detailed administration of the grants including their assessment, approval and prioritisation, is the responsibility of the local authorities. My Department does not hold information in relation to the average contribution per applicant or the waiting times for individual local authorities.  This information may be available directly from the local authorities.

A panel of approved builders has not been developed for each local authority, as responsibility for engaging tradespeople rests solely with the applicant.  However, some local authorities have an informal list of local contractors who have completed grant related work.  This list is not endorsed by local authorities and is merely intended to assist applicants if requested. 

My Department has previously requested that all local authorities establish contact with the hospitals/convalescent homes in their area in relation to the administration of the grants and to prioritise applications from eligible applicants, whose discharge from hospital is dependent on the timely adaptation of their homes. My Department has also met recently with all local authorities where this practice was discussed and it is planned to develop this service further as a priority, in conjunction with other relevant stakeholders.