Fund­ing older peo­ple homes

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

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.

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