Housing Adaptation Grant must be increased
Labour Senator Mark Wall said the failure of the Housing Minister to review and bring the Housing Adaptation Grant in line with current construction costs is a national disgrace.
Senator Wall said with construction costs and inflation through the roof, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil must address the affordability of adapting homes for older people and people with a disability.
Senator Wall said:
“We need to see a major increase in the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme. Right now, the maximum amount available to older people and people with a disability under the scheme is €30,000. Yet in today’s day and age, it would be next to impossible to get any necessary work done for under €60,000.
“Bathroom extensions and adaptations are costing people approximately €40,000 to €50,000, while recent quotes for a bedroom and bathroom coming in at €60,000 to €70,000.
“Under parliamentary questions from the Labour Party, Minister O’Brien tells us there is a review of the scheme gathering dust on his desk.
“A review is of little use to people who are unable to come home from hospital or from residential care settings while their home is unsuitable. It’s a national disgrace that this grant has not been reviewed and updated in line with inflation and the construction costs which have skyrocketed in recent years.
“We need to see urgent action to bring this grant in line with the needs of people who cannot afford to build much needed extensions. It’s not good enough for the Minister for Housing to pass the buck to Local Authorities on this. His Department must make funds available to those who need it.
“Housing adaptation for older people or for people with a disability is not a “lifestyle choice”, it is a basic necessity. This government is preventing older people and people with disabilities from being fully integrated into their communities. The funds available for housing adaptation grants needs to be increased.”