Written Answers. - Services for People with Disabilities.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Ceist:

357 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government the total amount of funding allocated by his Department for the provision of payments, facilities or services for those with physical or intellectual disabilities in 2003, giving the heading or sub-heading in the estimates under which the allocation has been made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19526/03]

Spending by my Department which benefits people with disabilities cannot readily be disaggregated as many of the relevant measures benefit other groups such as elderly persons or persons who are disadvantaged in different ways. Details of the different measures are set out below in respect of the current financial year.

The voluntary housing capital assistance scheme, subhead B.1.4 –€95.864 million, measure includes provision for grants to local authorities under section 15 of the Housing Act 1988 to enable them to advance loans to approved voluntary organisations providing housing for the elderly, homeless, disabled and other disadvantaged persons under the voluntary housing capital assistance scheme.

The disabled person's – essential repairs grants, subhead B.2.2 –€40.749 million, schemes include provision for partial recoupment to local authorities in respect of grants for: adapting a dwelling house to cater for the needs of a disabled person; and prolonging the life of houses – of mainly elderly persons – which are in need of repair.

Under task force for special housing aid for the elderly, subhead B.3 –€11.537 million, funding is provided to health boards towards works that are considered to be urgent and necessary to improve the living conditions of elderly persons living alone in unfit or unsanitary accommodation.
Under communal facilities in voluntary housing schemes, subhead B.4 –€1.901 million, funding is provided towards the capital costs of providing communal facilities in both new and existing voluntary housing schemes some of which benefit elderly and disabled persons.
Under public library service, subhead F.2.2, funding of up to €440,000 is available to library authorities for the provision of PC based optical scanning facilities for use by visually impaired persons. A grant of up to €4,400 is payable for the provision of the facilities in up to 100 library branches. These facilities may also be used to assist persons with learning disabilities.