Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the provision of a 50% increase in Housing Adaptation Grants (HAGs) in Sinn Féin’s alternative Budget for 2018.
In June of this year, Cllr McGeough asked Louth County Council to apply for extra funding for this Grant scheme after it was announced that the Scheme was to be kept open all year round. Each year a budget is allocated to this scheme which will adapt houses for the disabled or elderly.
Cllr McGeough said “Each year, the scheme opened, was flooded with applications and then closed again after a few short weeks. However, this year saw an extension to the submission period with the Scheme remaining open all year round. That has had the effect of citizens being left frustrated with the long periods of waiting time for these adaptations to take place.”
He said “I have a lady who is in her late 80’s who made a submission for a small but essential adaptation to her bathroom in 2016. She was marked ‘Priority 1’ which is categorising her as ‘urgent’. 2016 has gone, 2017 applications are in and this lady has now been informed that her work should be carried out in 2018.”
“There is no point in opening the Scheme all year round, processing and passing applications only to leave them sitting in a pile somewhere because there is no budget to carry out the works.”
“The applications for this particular Scheme are from some of the most vulnerable in our community. The scheme is intended to make daily life better for those who need a bit of extra help with their physical needs. This could be anything from a downstairs bathroom to a more major refurbishment of their home. These adaptations need to be carried out in a timely manner and waiting two years is wholly unacceptable by anyone’s standards.”
“I welcome Sinn Féin’s proposal that the allocation for this Grant Scheme be an extra 50%. We could perhaps clear the backlog and not leave our vulnerable citizens trapped in unsuitable accommodation.
For our full Alternative Budget please go to sinnfein.ie