Saturday 20 January 2018

Eamon Timmins: Changes to housing grants will hamper independence of the most vulnerable

Eamon Timmins, Age Action Ireland
Eamon Timmins, Age Action Ireland

Eamon Timmins

In theory, any review of an important grant scheme that aims to make payments more focused and targeted to those most in need should be welcomed. However, in practice, the changes being made to the housing adaptation grant schemes for older people and people with a disability leaves some of our most vulnerable citizens worse off.

The upshot of the changes is that funding will be spread even more thinly, while maximum grants for the poorest of older people will be reduced -- and they will be asked, for the first time, to pay for a percentage of the work.

As a result of the review, some older people will no longer be eligible for the Housing Aid for Older people. Under the rule changes, which local authority officials have been instructed to implement with immediate effect, the eligibility age has been increased from 60 to 66.

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