The size of housing adaptation grants must be substantially increased due to rising costs in the construction industry a Galway TD has said.
Speaking during questions on policy or legislation in the Dáil, Galway East TD Seán Canney said the current maximum grant of €30,000 for the scheme was set over a decade ago.
“It is a great scheme and I know the Minister is carrying out a review of it but there are a number of things he might consider.”
In light of increasing costs in the industry, Deputy Canney said that the Housing Minister should double that maximum grant to €60,000.
“Second, in the area of income threshold and assessment, where a person has a disability, it is very unfair to take the family’s entire income into account when it is being assessed for these grants.”
“The person with the disability is the person who needs the adaptations done to the house and this might keep people at home longer,” Seán Canney said.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that the review of the housing adaptation grants scheme is nearing completion, and that he expects to have it shortly.
The Minister agreed that the scheme “needs to keep pace with the increased costs we have seen” and that amendments to it are required.
“It is a very effective grant and helps many people stay in their homes, where they want to and should stay.”
“We are looking at extending the works which can be included in the housing adaptation grant,” Minister O’Brien added, specifying hoists, which are not currently covered, but which will be this year.
The Minister said that the review of the Housing Adaptation Grants scheme will be published in the coming weeks, with both income thresholds and grant limits taken into account.
“We have secured an additional budget this year for an additional spend in that space. Once we publish these, they will be there for everybody to see.”