English calls for increase in Housing Adaptation Grants

Photo from Tipperary county council via canva.com

Tipperary County Council will write to the Minister for Housing requesting a review of Housing Adaptation Grant.

At this month’s meeting of the local authority, Cllr. Pat English brought a Notice of Motion to request that Minister Darragh O’Brien increase the limits of the grant from €30,000 to €40,000.

This grant aims to help the elderly and people with disabilities make their homes more suitable for living with a physical, sensory, or intellectual disability or mental health difficulty.

Cllr. English says people have had to refuse the grant because of current building costs.

“The price of building has gone up drastically over the last number of years. An extension that would have cost €30,000 now costs €45,000, and they can’t make the difference between the two, so they have to refuse the grant. In the long term, this is very bad for society in general, in that these people have a disability or long-term illness and will end up in a hospital or nursing home. Considering this is an additional cost to the state, it would suit if they were left in their own homes being cared for by family and carers.”

Councillor Máirín McGrath also backed the motion but asked that the letter include a request to increase the income threshold and for allowances in certain situations as well.

The motion was passed, and the letter will include both councillors’ requests.

Cllr. English says neither the Income Threshold Allowance nor the Housing Adaptation Grant have ever been revised and need to be more in line with the times we are in now.

“There has been no move on the limits (for the Housing Adaptation Grant) or the criteria for the income into the household – it’s still at €60,000 and that hasn’t changed. If two people are on a pension, with the rate they have if someone in the house is working, they’ve probably gone over that €60,000 limit. It needs to just move with the times to ensure people are looked after. The grant system is fantastic, and the people who look after it at the council are doing a great job. It’s the national limit that needs to be changed, and that’s why we are writing to the Minister to ask him to have a look at changing those limits.”