Meath East Fianna Fáil Senator, Thomas Byrne has today reacted with concern over the decision by Meath County Council to close the Housing Grant Schemes.

Senator Byrne said: ‘Meath County Council received an allocation of €1.45 million for this scheme early in the New Year from the previous government. Many people in vulnerable situations urgently require financial support from the County Council in order to improve their homes. In many situations, it can mean the difference between staying in a person’s own home and going into a nursing home’

‘With the recent controversy regarding the Fairer Deal –Nursing Home Scheme, it is quite clear that the Government must do everything it can to ensure that as many people can stay in their own homes’ added Byrne.

‘Providing funding to adapt a home or build a downstairs extension is a lesser burden on the State Finances than putting a person into a nursing home which costs the state on average of €50,000 per year’

‘Grants are being made available in other counties and I think it is unfair on Meath residents for them not to be in a position to avail of these life changing funds’ added Byrne.

‘It’s not only elderly people who need these grants. Many families who have children with disabilities require these grants to make their children’s standard of living better’

‘I am calling on the Government and in particular, all five Government TD’s in County Meath to authorise new funding to service these grant schemes. People’s lives are and will continue to be affected until the Grants Schemes are re-opened’ concluded Senator Byrne.