Retrofitting plan a step in right direction

25 July 2019

Labour Party Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan has welcomed plans to retrofit local authority homes across the country but has said more has to be done to reduce fuel poverty.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“This announcement by the Minister for Housing will allow local authorities from across the country to ramp up retrofitting programmes.

“I have been urging the Government to focus on Council homes as well as privately owned homes whose owners cannot afford to draw down grants because they haven’t got the money for the matching funds required.

“Schemes like this are far preferable to suggestions mooted by the Government to introduce tax credits for those who retrofit their homes. Unfortunately, initiatives like this won’t benefit those who are at risk of being in fuel poverty. People on low incomes, will be priced out of the opportunity to upgrade their homes and qualify for the tax credits. Only those with access to spare cash will benefit.

“As a TD for Limerick City, I welcome the fact that Limerick has got the second highest allocation of funding from the scheme announced by Minister Murphy. Limerick has done a lot of good work through regeneration in estates around the City but many older houses in areas like Garryowen and Ballynanty have very low energy ratings and people who live in them are in real danger of not being able to afford to keep them warm when higher carbon taxes kick in. There are older housing estates like this in towns and cities around the country wo will benefit from this scheme.

“Schemes like these announced by Minister Murphy are welcome but will only help to reduce fuel poverty if they go hand in hand with reforming how people can access the SEAI grants for retrofitting so those on all income levels can retrofit their homes at an affordable price.”

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