Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2845, 2893)

Danny Healy-Rae

Question:

2845. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the significant reduction in funding of the disabled persons grant will be addressed (details supplied). [32790/19]

View answer

Brendan Griffin

Question:

2893. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason funding to Kerry County Council for the housing adaptation grant for persons with a disability was reduced from €423,617 to €300,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32861/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2845 and 2893 together.

I recently announced the 2019 funding allocations to local authorities for the Disabled Persons Grants (DPG) Scheme for adaptations and extensions to existing social homes to meet the needs of local authority tenants. The scheme applies to works that are necessary to address the needs of older people or people with a disability. This may involve minor adaptations such as stair-lifts, grabs -rails, showers, wet-rooms, ramps etc. It also provides funding for more major adaptations such as extensions, for example in the case of overcrowding, the installation of a downstairs bedroom or bathroom.

Some €15 million is being made available under the scheme in 2019, an increase of over €1 million on 2018 levels. On top of this Exchequer funding, the local authority makes a further 10% contribution in respect of these grants. It is a matter for local authorities to prioritise the works to be funded under the scheme in their area, in the context of available funding and in line with the terms of the DPG scheme.

The available funding for 2019 was apportioned across local authorities having regard to individual funding requests. My Department will review the 2019 allocations and funding drawdown later this year with a view to considering the allocation of additional funding should it become available. In the case of Kerry County Council, while their initial allocation for 2018 was €423,617, over €1 million in funding was recouped to the Council by year-end. It will be open to local authorities to seek additional funding in 2019, once their allocation is fully expended and the relevant funding recouped from the Department.