Fianna Fáil TD for Longford Westmeath, Robert Troy, has expressed his huge disappointment with the fact that grants to improve or adapt the private homes of older people and people with a disability has fallen for the second year in a row.
Westmeath County Council is set to receive €988,155 in these grants this year, down from €1,143,266 in 2011.
Deputy Troy commented: “It is a very worrying trend. This is the second year in succession that the allocation for grants to improve or adapt the private homes of older people and people with a disability has fallen.
“These grants are pivotal for people to be able to stay at home where they want to be. It helps to keep them out of long stay nursing homes, this in itself will act as a saving to the exchequer.
“The grants are important in that the receipients are in a position to upgrade and adapt their homes for their disabilities, the money from the grants helps to sustain this. The money that would be allocated in Westmeath for the improvement of homes would help to sustain local employment, particularly in construction which has been the hardest hit industry of the recession.
“People wish to remain in their homes and in their communities where they have a strong support network in place. These grants aid people in achieving this goal and without this finance many will be forced into long term care at the state’s expense.
“It seems to me that there was no regard given to these allocations in terms of the size of the county, a lot of smaller counties than Westmeath received significantly more of the allocation. Westmeath has traditionally been known to spend its money very wisely and it is very disappointing that Westmeath loses out here.”