Munster: Lack of funding leaves elderly prisoners in their own homes

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has hit out at the government for their practice of leaving elderly people and those with disabilities to languish as prisoners in their own home.

Highlighting figures that show that the total budget allocation for Housing Adaptation Grants for Louth is down almost half a million euro on last year Deputy Munster raised the matter in the Dáil today.

Deputy Munster said:

‘We’re halfway through 2018 and there are already 267 applications so far plus 95 carried over from 2017 making a total of 362. The allocated budget will only cover 123 of these which means that Louth County Council will need extra funding of €1,840,004 to clear the remaining applications.

Despite claims in their Programme for a Partnership Government that they value and will facilitate the continued independent living in their own homes for the elderly and People with a Disability they are slow to release the necessary funds. Instead they leave hundreds of people to struggle for survival in their substandard homes.

This is reflected in almost daily representations being made in my Drogheda constituency office as in constituency offices all over the country by elderly and disabled people, or their families on their behalf, for downstairs bathrooms, stair-lifts, bedrooms or wet rooms to enable them to continue living in their own homes.

Additional funding needs to be released immediately to Louth County Council to clear these remaining applications.’


Cassidy Hits Out At Vacant Houses While Families Wait For Homes

Alan CassidySinn Féin Councillor Alan Cassidy has hit out at Louth County Council’s Housing Department for its lack of action in Drogheda. With over 1,600 applicants in Drogheda alone and over 4,500 throughout County Louth, the situation is regarded as a ‘crisis’.

Council officials have informed the Tallanstown Councillor that they are allocating houses to those who have been on the waiting list for an average of 7-8 years as they become available.

Roughly 30% of the social housing stock is in the form of Voluntary Housing Associations.

Speaking today, Councillor Cassidy said it was “extremely frustrating that when people are crying out for homes, there are boarded up houses in the same area of the town. For example, there are two houses in Rowan Heights, one of which has been boarded up now for over five months. I have been approached by a number of families regarding these houses, who have been on the list for seven years and yet when I make representations to the Council I get a stock answer. These people are told that yes, you are a qualified applicant and it is just a case of waiting until a property becomes available in your area. They then walk past these boarded up properties. It is so frustrating”.

Last month Fellow Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster, expressed her anger at nearly €3 million being taken out of the Council budget every year for the next 25 years, to pay for loans (interest only) on land reserved to build social housing.

Councillor Cassidy continued, “Labour Ministers have met with council officials and put the onus on the council to house those in need, yet the council are reliant on government funding to build new units. It beggars belief. Surely if we took the interest payment of almost €3 million for just one year and put it into opening up these boarded up houses and building new stock, it would alleviate the problem somewhat in this area.”

Concluding, Alan Cassidy said “we need to remember who these people are. They are not just statistics on a list. Every one of them has a story, a life, a family, hopes and dreams for the future just like anyone else. They are people. They are human beings and deserved to be treated with dignity.”

Boarded up home at Rowan Heights, Drogheda

Boarded up home at Rowan Heights, Drogheda