Latest Laois News: Local TD guides Housing Adaptation Bill past first stage in Dáil Éireann

Latest Laois News: Local TD guides Housing Adaptation Bill past first stage in Dáil Éireann

Housing Adaptation Bill passes first stage

Housing Adaptation Bill passes first stage – Patricia Ryan TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Older People, Patricia Ryan TD, speaking on the Housing Adaptation Grant Bill, has said that it is vital that people with a disability and older people receive a timely decision on their housing adaptation grant application, to enable them to live as independent and valued members within their community.

Teachta Ryan said:

“Today I initiated the Housing (Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability) Bill 2021, along with my colleague, Pauline Tully TD.

“The purpose of this bill is to ensure that local authorities administering the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability shall as far as its practical, process applications for the grant within a period of not more than four weeks from the date of receipt of the application. 

“I am bringing the bill forward as I have been made aware that many disabled people and older people require adaptations made to their home as a result of an accident or an illness and often are unable to live in their own homes until the required works are carried out. 

“Regularly this requires an extended stay in hospital or having to relocate to a nursing home for a period of time which can be costly on the person themselves and their families. 

“As well as placing an additional cost on the state from the extended stay in hospital, it also takes up hospital beds that other people are waiting on. 

Photo of new housing on Ballickmoyler Road Graiguecullen
Local TD guides Housing Adaptation Bill past first stage in Dáil Éireann

“In Naas General Hospital, for example, during the period of January to September 2019 there was an average of 20.5 delayed discharges per month.” 

“I am aware that the lack of contractors and the additional costs of construction material is having an additional and adverse impact on this grant and I’m hoping that budget 22 will address this and see the grant increased to meet these additional costs. 

“Many people who have made an application for this grant have been forced to wait months for approval.  I recently helped to bring to a successful conclusion two applications which were waiting over two years. This is unacceptable.” 

“The Covid pandemic has undoubtably increased waiting times and this is unacceptable. This is again having an unfair and disproportionate impact on older people and disabled people. 

“This needs to be addressed urgently.  Many people are struggling on a day to day basis and something like a stair lift or a level access shower could make such a difference. People need to be enabled to live an independent life. We need to do better to ensure older people have the option to age in place”