The special housing aid for the elderly scheme is administered by a task force under the aegis of my Department and operated by the health boards at local level. It is a matter for each board to determine, within the funds available, the priority of individual cases on hands.
In recognition of the valuable work being done funding for the scheme has been increased significantly in recent years from £6 million in 1999 to £8 million last year and £8.6 million for 2001. A total of £950,000 for the operation of the scheme has been allocated to the South Eastern Health Board for 2001 compared to £812,000 for 2000. This allocation will enable the health board to continue a high level of activity. The overall provision for the scheme in 2001 has been fully allocated.