On the 27th of June, €15.075 million in funding was approved for the Disabled Persons Grant scheme (DPG) and Improvement Works In Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs). This effort was led by Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Eoghan Murphy, T.D., and Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath, T.D. Compared to the 2018 funding package, the scheme for 2019 is an increase of over €1 million. It will also be kept under review so that additional funding may be added if the need arises over the course of the year.
The DPG scheme enables both older people and those with disabilities to live independently for longer periods of time. It accomplishes this by providing funding for adaptations and extensions to already exists social housing stock. This can include disabled access ramps, wet rooms, grab rails, downstairs bedrooms, and more. Extensions are applicable when housing conditions are subject to overcrowding. Up to 90% of the cost is covered by Exchequer funding, and the local authority covers the final 10%.
IWILs is similar in that it gives local authorities the proper jurisdiction to extend or improve an approved applicant’s privately owned accommodation, as opposed to having to provide a social housing unit. This scheme typically applies when the housing in question is unsuitable for the applicant’s needs, unfit by its design, or overcrowded. The maximum total cost of the work is typically set at €75,000, with applicants being required to make repayments over time. These repayment costs are calculated by three factors: household income, the local authorities’ current differential rent scheme, and the total cost of the works performed.
Minister Murphy was quoted in a press release stating this funding effort “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,” and Minister McGrath 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.”
For more information, please visit: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/special-housing-needs/funding/murphy-mcgrath-approve-eu15075m-funding-disabled-persons-grant; https://www.offaly.ie/eng/Services/Housing/Local-Authority-Housing-Options/Improvement_Works_in_Lieu_Scheme.html