29 June 2019
By Bryan Smyth
North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed news that funding of €1 million for the Disabled Persons Grant scheme (DPG) and Improvement Works In Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs) has been approved for Cork County Council.
€15m has been approved nationaly for the Scheme. The funding was approved by Cllr. O’Shea’s colleagues Eoghan Murphy TD, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, and Finian McGrath TD, Minister of State for Disability Issues.
The DPG scheme provides funding for extensions and adaptations to existing social housing stock for older people and people with a disability such as grab rails, disabled access ramps, wet rooms, downstairs bedrooms etc. The scheme also provides extensions in cases of overcrowding.
It is administered directly by the local authorities who prioritise the works required under the scheme each year. The scheme assists older people and people with a disability to continue living in the comfort of their own homes. Exchequer funding meets 90% of the cost of the works in each property, with the local authority providing the remaining 10% Cllr. O’Shea confirmed.
The funding being provided also covers the Improvement Works in Lieu of social housing scheme (IWILs) which allows local authorities to improve or extend privately owned accommodation, where the applicant has been approved for social housing. It allows those who are eligible to remain in private housing and as their housing need has been met, helps to reduce the demand for social housing. It can also support those who might otherwise find themselves homeless.
Commenting on the announcement, Cllr. O’Shea said: “I am very pleased that this government has allocated funding of more than €15 million, including €1 million for Cork County Council. Nationally, this is an increase of more than €1 million on the 2018 levels.
“This Scheme will greatly improve the housing conditions for our older tenants and those living with disabilities and addresses issues of overcrowding in existing social housing stock. Improvement works on private homes in lieu of social housing will also provide an alternative for those currently experiencing overcrowding in private accommodation.”