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Alan Kelly announces €23m scheme to renovate homes

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Minister Alan Kelly

Minister Alan Kelly

Minister Alan Kelly

The home county of Environment Minister Alan Kelly is among the largest beneficiaries of a multi-million euro social housing scheme due to be rolled out by his department.

The Labour Party politician last night announced plans to fund renovation and retrofitting works of thousands of homes across the country.

Following a week of criticism over his handling of the government's property tax plan, Mr Kelly said €23m will be allocated to local authorities in order to make improvements to their housing stock.

The scheme is broken into two parts: the first involves monies designed to assist tenants with disabilities or overcrowding issues, while the second is designed to energy retrofit council properties. A county-by-county breakdown shows that Dublin City received over €4.3m in funding - the most out of any local authority.

Mr Kelly allocated over €3.8m for social housing tenants in Cork City, and more than €1.45m to Tipperary, which is his own constituency.

A spokesman for the minister said council officials in Tipperary had been particularly "proactive" in successfully retrofitting units last year.

He said the process of allocating monies by the minister was done so fairly and had nothing to do with him being from Tipperary.

In a statement last night, Mr Kelly said the fund will allow councils to undertake "very important improvement works" to social houses.

However, Sinn Fein Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis last night described the announcement as "piece meal".

Irish Independent