Tuesday 16 July 2019

Funding older people homes

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo County Council meeting

The lack of Housing Grants for older people in Sligo is a "huge issue for people."

That's according to Fianna Fáil Councillor Rosaleen O'Grady who raised the issue at the October meeting.

She was told by officials that the Council was only giving Adaptation grants to people with a disability.

They were not giving out Housing Aid grants for Older People.

"Over the years we had three categories and we were able to assist people doing up their houses to meet their needs as they got older," she said.

The Council has given ¤1.7million in grants as of 31st August this year.

The Council has provided ¤320,000 of funding (20%) while the Government provides ¤1.3m (80%). They have another ¤600,000 worth of applications still waiting to be approved.

"We need adequate funding. We have a growing older population who haven't been properly funded over the years. It's disappointing that we're down to covering only one category (out of a possible three)," she said.

Independent Cllr Margaret Gormley said the Council needed to look to the Department for more funding.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus Kilgannon said that recently "we had a situation with the Housing Minister blaming the local authority for not doing enough."

"What chance have we of getting funding when the economy starts to contract? We're the laughing stock of Europe - we can't provide housing for people," he said.

Fine Gael Cllr Hubert Keaney said it was partly the Council's fault they weren't able to come up with more of the 20% match funding required under the scheme.

"It's up to the members to think of where we can increase the funding and start lobbying the Government," he said.

Council official Joe Murphy said Sligo spent more money on this scheme comparable to any other county. Cllr O'Grady said Sligo had a higher rate of older people living here.

"We as a local authority should be doing our utmost that people who build this nation have a choice of whether to live in their own home," she added.

Sligo Champion