Cuts to housing adaptations grants for Kerry described as outrageous

Cuts to funding for housing adaptations for people with a disability or illness in Kerry have been described as outrageous.

This year’s Disabled Person Grant allocation has been slashed by a quarter, with councillors saying people in council houses in the county are already waiting years for housing adaptations such as stair lifts or wet rooms.

It was revealed at this month’s Kerry County Council meeting that the Disabled Person Grant allocation from the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government for this year is €300,000, down from €423,617 last year.

The Chief Executive, in her monthly report to councillors, said the impact of this significant reduction is currently being assessed.

Councillor Toireasa Ferris said council tenants are being unfairly treated as they’re already waiting years for housing adaptations such as a stair lift or wet room.

She has one constituent with a sick child living in a two-storey house, who has been waiting since September 2013 for a solution, as the child has to be carried up the stairs.

Cllr Brendan Cronin said the cut is an attack on the most vulnerable in society, saying this is one of the most effective grants the council administers, as the works can transform the lives of people with disabilities.

Councillors Maura Healy-Rae and Marie Moloney called on the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil councillors to get their parties’ TDs to act on this.