Dáil Éireann - Volume 638 - 26 September, 2007

Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he will implement the new grant scheme for housing to the local authorities; when he expects the scheme to become operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20384/07]

Deputy Emmet Staggasked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the new disabled persons grant scheme will be announced. [21030/07]

Deputy Jack Wallasked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the proposals he has in relation to increasing the grant limits for essential repair grants and disabled persons grants as operated by the local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21053/07]

  Deputy John Gormley:I propose to take Questions Nos. 1123, 1160 and 1165 together. Details of the revised housing adaptation grant schemes for older people and people with a disability were announced in February 2007 as part of the Government’s new housing policy statement Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities.

Three new schemes are to be introduced: a Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability, a Mobility Aids Grant, and a Housing Aid for Older People Grant. The Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability will assist in the provision-adaptation of accommodation to meet the needs of people with a disability. Under the new scheme, the grant will be increased from the current effective maximum of €20,320 to a maximum of €30,000, which may cover up to 95% of the cost of works. The Mobility Aids Grant Scheme will provide grants to cover a basic suite of works to address mobility problems, primarily but not exclusively, associated with ageing. The [679] maximum grant available will be €6,000 and may cover 100% of the cost of works.

The Housing Aid for Older People scheme, which will provide targeted support to improve conditions in the existing housing of older people, amalgamates the provisions of the existing Essential Repairs and Special Housing Aid for the Elderly grant schemes. The maximum grant available will be €10,500 and may cover 100% of the cost of works.

Under the revised framework, the grant levels will increase annually in line with the building cost index, thus protecting the value of the grants into the future. It is expected that the revised schemes will come into operation later this year. The existing adaptation grant schemes for older people and people with a disability will continue to operate until the new schemes become effective.