Fine Gael Minister of State for Planning and Local Government Peter Burke has today approved funding of more than €23m million for the Disabled Persons Grant scheme (DPG) and Improvement Works In Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs).
Importantly, every local authority will receive the funds they have requested to carry out works this year in 2021. Under both schemes, exchequer funding meets 90% of the cost of the works, with the Local Authority providing the remaining 10%.
The DPG scheme provides funding for extensions and adaptations to existing social housing stock for older people and people with a disability such as grab rails, disabled access ramps, wet rooms, downstairs bedrooms etc. The scheme also provides extensions in cases of overcrowding.
The Improvement Works in Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs) allows local authorities to improve or extend privately owned accommodation, where the applicant has been approved for social housing. It allows those who are otherwise eligible for social housing to remain in private housing and for enhancements to that housing.
Minister Burke, the Longford Westmeath public representative who has responsibility for housing for older persons and those with a disability, has said this is very positive news, and has confirmed that he has sanctioned additional funding for the programme this year.
“In my first year allocating these grants, I am delighted to be able to increase the budget and sanction additional funding to all Local Authorities. Each Local Authority will now receive the full amount they requested in their programme of works.
“This investment in our social housing stock will improve housing conditions for people with a disability and our older tenants. There is also funding for improvement works on private, which provides options for those currently experiencing overcrowding in private accommodation who are on their Local Authority’s social housing list.
“As a Councillor and a TD, I have seen first-hand the impact of these grants on the quality of life of the many beneficiaries in social and private housing. The grants play a vitally important role in helping people with a disability to continue to live independently and facilitating those who may be living in overcrowded accommodation to get an extension to their property,” he concluded.