Westmeath County Council will receive funding to support home adaptations for older people and those living with a disability in private houses, a Fine Gael Minister has said.  Peter Burke, who is a Minister in the Department of Housing, which is responsible for allocating the grants, says that he has worked to ensure there is an increase in the total funding this year.

“I am delighted today to announce allocations to local authorities worth a total of €73.75 million in 2020 for Housing Adaptation Grants.

“These grants are vital as they enable older people and people with disabilities and mobility issues in Westmeath to remain living independently in their own homes for longer should they wish and will also facilitate early return from hospital.

“The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority.

“I am delighted that Westmeath County Council has a combined total of €1.3 million to support vulnerable people in Westmeath with the necessary requirements they need to live in their homes.

“Grants of up to €30,000 are available to assist people with a disability in carrying out necessary works to make a house more suitable for their needs, up to €8,000 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out and up to €6,000 for mobility aids to address mobility problems for a member of the household.

“The Government remains committed to supporting older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence, for as long as possible. We also want to empower and give those with a disability the ability to choose the supports that most meet their needs.

“Today’s funding announcement is in line with the commitments contained in the Programme for Government.

“These grants are so important as they also create employment opportunities for builders and businesses in Westmeath and help reduce the dependency on our health services by supporting independent living for as long as possible.  I have helped many constituents over the years with housing adaptations grants and have seen the difference they can make in peoples day to day lives in relation to feeling safe and supported in your own home.

“The Department has increased the funding again for this important scheme in 2020, with all local authorities receiving an increase in funding compared to their 2019 allocation.  I am glad to help work from within the department to ensure more people and families can access this support.

“These grants have an huge impact on the quality of life of the many beneficiaries and play a vitally important role in helping people with a disability and people who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile, to continue to live independently in their own homes.”