More than three in five people who applied to the city council for housing adaptation grants in the first six months of the year are still waiting for an inspection.
In the first half of this year, there were 146 applicants for housing adaptation grants from the city council, and of these 90 are still waiting for an inspection of their home.
Former Sinn Féin councillor Mark Lohan said that the number of applications received by the council increased by almost 50% this year compared with the same period in 2020.
There was no corresponding increase in funding for the programme from the central government, something that Lohan says is essential to clear the backlog in the system.
The Housing Adaptation Grants are meant for specific home improvements that can help older people and those with a disability to live independently at home.
Galway City was allocated a total of €1,153,836 for the scheme in March this year, which includes €923,069 Exchequer funding and €230,767 Council funding.
For much of this year the city council continued to accept applications for this scheme, but was unable to carry out the required home inspections due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Mr Lohan praised the council executive for making the decision to use photographic inspections where possible to keep the process moving along.
“This practical move is testament to the effort by the local authority to work as efficiently as possible for these residents in need, however it was not enough to deal with the surge in applications and the resulting backlog of work on site.”
“My concern here is that if the completion of this work is not dealt with immediately, the ever-increasing applications could create a more severe backlog.”
Of the Galway City applicants for the scheme in the first half, 38 people have had grants approved to renovate their homes, but the works have yet to be completed.