Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Barry Cowen TD has said the restoration of the Housing Adaptation Grant is essential to ensure that older people and people with a disability can maintain their independence in their own homes.

Deputy Cowen said, ”Fianna Fáil introduced the Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme in 2007 in order to allow for the adaptation of houses for people with a disability and older people.

“Grants are given to individual households to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out. People with a disability can also avail of the scheme to carry out the necessary adaptations, repairs or improvement works to be carried out to make their homes more suitable for their needs.

“Unfortunately this essential grant scheme was cut by the previous Government. The number of grants paid out annually to older people and people with disabilities was cut by 45% under Fine Gael, while the value of average individual grants paid out was cut by over 50%.

“This situation has arisen because the Government is no longer providing sufficient matching funding to allow local authorities to pay out the grant. The Government must work towards restoring this essential payment and honour the commitment it made in the Programme for Government to support further increases in funding for this scheme.

“This scheme is essential to helping people maintain their independence and remain in their own home for as long as possible, which is a central plank of Fianna Fáil policy.”