Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has welcomed the publication of a new Bill which will vastly reduce decision times for the Housing Adaptation Grant.

The Housing (Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability) Bill 2018, published by Fianna Fáil, will require Local Authorities to make a decision within four weeks of receiving a completed application.

Deputy Smyth said, “The Housing Adaptation Grant provides financial support to people who are carrying out works on their home to make it more suitable for a person with disabilities.  Funding of up to €30,000 is available, however there are serious issues with backlogs in the system.

“Fianna Fáil first introduced the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme in 2007 and it proved to be a major success.  However, over the past number of years, it has been plagued by backlogs and delays and now applicants can be waiting for months on end for a decision to be made.

“New figures released to me under Freedom of Information reveal that there are 66 outstanding cases in Cavan County Council, while Monaghan County Council , 59 grants are awaiting approval.  I have been contacted by a number of these families who are extremely frustrated with the length of time it is taking for their applications to be processed.

“Many families are unable to carry out the necessary works until their application is approved because they simply don’t have the money.  While they’re being forced to wait, their loved one is living in a home, which no longer caters for their needs.

“Affording people the opportunity to grow old in their own homes should they wish, is a central plank of Fianna Fáil policy.  In many instances, this is only possible through the installation of stair-lifts; grab-rails; showers; wet-rooms or ramps – all of which are covered by the Housing Adaptation Grant.

“This Bill will make a real difference to the families who are waiting on decisions.  I hope the legislation will receive cross party support, so that it can be enacted without any lengthy delays”.