Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, and Finian McGrath TD, Minister of State for Disability Issues today (27th June) approved funding of €15.075 million for the Disabled Persons Grant scheme (DPG) and Improvement Works In Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs).
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. It is administered directly by the local authorities who prioritise the works required under the scheme each year. The scheme assists older people and people with a disability to continue living in the comfort of their own homes. Exchequer funding meets 90% of the cost of the works in each property, with the local authority providing the remaining 10%.
The funding being provided also covers the Improvement Works in Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs) which allows local authorities to improve or extend privately owned accommodation, where the applicant has been approved for social housing. It allows those who are eligible to remain in private housing and as their housing need has been met, helps to reduce the demand for social housing. It can also support those who might otherwise find themselves homeless.
Minister Murphy welcomed the efforts being made by all local authorities to improve the quality of life for older people and people with a disability and those affected by over-crowding, stating that “this will greatly improve the housing conditions for our older tenants and those living with disabilities and addresses issues of overcrowding in existing social housing stock. Improvement works on private homes in lieu of social housing will also provide an alternative for those currently experiencing overcrowding in private accommodation.”
Minister Murphy added “I am very pleased today to allocate funding of €15.075 million under this scheme. This is an increase of over €1 million on the 2018 levels. The scheme will be kept under review and further funding will be considered under the scheme for 2019 should the need arise”.
Minister Finian McGrath welcomed the €15,075 million funding allocation stating that
“ these grants are of immense importance to older people and people with disabilities who wish to remain living independently in their homes”.
Minister McGrath also added that “ the home improvements and adaptations carried out with these monies will also help facilitate the early return home from hospital for many as well as giving people support and options as regards living longer in their own homes.