Older people and those with disabilities in Galway city could be set to benefit from funding of €1,100,374 which will be made available via grants for housing adaptations.
Government funding totalling €3.5 million, issued under the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, has been allocated to the Galway city and county councils. The allocations break down at €1.88 million to the Galway County Council and €889,299 to Galway City Council, with a further €471,762 to the county, and €211,075 to the city, allocated respectively from their own resources. This marks a 21 per cent increase for the county and a four per cent increase for the city over previous years.
The Housing Adaptation Grant Scheme provides funding towards the cost of works, such as making it wheelchair-accessible, extensions to create more space, adding a ground-floor bathroom or toilet, or adding a stair-lift, which enable people, in particular those with restricted mobility, to stay in their own homes. Grants of up to €30,000 are available to assist people with a disability; up to €8,000 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out; and up to €6,000 for mobility aids to address mobility problems.
Seán Kyne, Fine Gael Galway West TD and Minister for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development, described the funding as "very important" as it would "enable older people to improve their homes and make them more comfortable and accessible".
His Galway West colleague, Hildegarde Naughton TD, said: “A majority of Galway’s disabled and aging population live in mainstream housing, but that housing often has small room sizes, steep internal stairs, baths rather than showers, and steps outside. As people get older these become increasingly difficult to manage, with increasing long-term conditions and disabilities impacting on day-to-day activities within the home.
“Adapting the home can increase the usability of the home environment and enable the majority of people to maintain their independence for as long as possible. This can reduce the risk of falls and other accidents, relieve pressures on accident and emergency services, speed hospital discharge, and reduce the need for residential care."
Fine Gael city councillor John Walsh also welcomed the grants, saying: "I know from previous funding many people have added supports to their homes to achieve greater ease, mobility, and comfort in their daily lives and I would encourage a strong take up of the funding announced this week."