Cllr Emer Tóibín: Housing Grant Schemes for the Elderly and those with Disabilities not meeting demand in Meath
Aontú Cllr. for Meath Emer Tóibín has expressed concern over the number of refusals of support grants to the elderly by Meath County Council, and the length of time these applicants will have to wait for their application to be reviewed in 2020. We know government and council funding has taken a hit this year, however, funding provision was decided upon and set aside last year. Furthermore, serious shortfalls in meeting demand this year, mean unprocessed applications will roll over to next year’s already increasing pool of applications and most likely will face stricter budgets.
Cllr Tóibín: “Throughout the past few months, I have been contacted by many constituents whose parents have been refused their application for the Elderly Repairs Home Grant Scheme, Mobility Grant Scheme and Housing Grant for people with Disability. One of these schemes sets out to help elderly people fix or replace their roof, upgrade wiring or a heating system repairs and adaptions to their homes such as bathroom adaptions etc. Each year, people are turned down despite their applications satisfying requirements. Applications involving medical need are granted first and the scheme goes on from there till the money runs out – leaving many with special and extra needs unable to afford essential repairs and adaptions.”
“In 2020, there has been a marked increase in requests and applications. More elderly people wish to be cared for in their own home as there is a heightened fear about going into nursing homes due to COVID. The cost savings of ensuring the elderly stay in their own home is well documented and budgetary planning is critical to keeping costs low and allowing as many people to benefit from it. However, there was less funding allocated in 2020 than in 2019 despite the increase in demand. How is it that in 2020 when funding allocation is down and demand is increased, that additional funding is not sought?”
“It is my fear that a sizeable portion of the applications under all three schemes is being refused not because they fail to meet the criteria, but because the funding model needs major expansion and reform in light of our aging population and aging housing stock .’’