Dáil Éireann - Volume 471 - 13 November, 1996

Written Answers. - Housing for the Elderly.

72. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for the Environment if he has satisfied himself with the level of co-ordination between local authorities and health boards regarding accommodation for the elderly; the plans, if any, he has for a more integrated approach; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21134/96]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment (Ms McManus): Accommodation for elderly persons may be provided under the local authority housing programme or the voluntary housing capital assistance scheme. In addition, there is a range of improvement schemes to assist elderly persons wishing to stay in their own homes and communities, each designed to meet different needs and different circumstances. These schemes include the disabled persons grant, the essential repairs grant, the scheme of improvement works in lieu of local authority housing, and the special housing aid for the elderly scheme. The latter is the only scheme which is not directly operated by local authorities, as appropriate. It has, since its establishment in 1982, been under the aegis of the health boards and is widely acknowledged to have achieved, with a minimum of cost and formality [1044] considerable improvements in the housing conditions of elderly persons.

Overall, I am satisfied that there are adequate arrangements for co-ordination between local authorities and health boards in regard to the accommodation of the elderly.