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Ministers Kelly & Coffey Announce €56.25 Million to Improve the Homes of Older People and People with a Disability

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Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly TD and Minister of State for Housing & Planning, Paudie Coffey TD have today (2 February, 2016) announced that €56.25 million will be made available in 2016 for Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability living in private houses.  This investment will allow extensions to be built for people with a disability as well as housing adaptations to improve mobility aid (such as stair lifts, access ramps, etc.).

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The funding being announced by the Ministers for 2016 represents an increase of €5.75 million on the funding allocated for 2015.  Every local authority will be getting more funding allocated for housing adaptation grants in 2016 than they actually spent in 2015. By making the allocation in February, local authorities will be in a better position to maximize their spend on these works which will help more elderly and vulnerable people.

The grants are 80% funded from the exchequer by the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government, with 20% funding from the relevant local authority.  Grants are payable in the main to owner-occupied (private) housing, and also eligible are houses being purchased under the tenant purchase scheme, private rented accommodation, accommodation provided under voluntary housing schemes and accommodation occupied by persons living in communal residences.  Grants of up to €30,000 are available for an adaptation, up to €8,000 for housing aid for older people and up to €6,000 for mobility aids.

Minister Kelly stated: “These grants provide older people and people with a disability the opportunity to continue independent living in their own homes for as long as possible, with the comfort and dignity that they deserve. I am particularly pleased that we have made available a significant increase in funding for 2016 for this important programme.  The grants that are made available, whether large or small, can greatly improve the quality of life of people with a disability or who are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile”.

Minister Coffey added “This funding is part of a huge Government commitment to housing and it provides significant social benefit by facilitating citizens to continue the independent occupancy of their own homes. The funding will allow local authorities increase the number of citizens they can support through this programme and, in addition, it will provide a boost to the construction sector nationally, with the benefits being spread to local economies across the country”.

 

2016 Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Allocations

 

Local Authority Exchequer  Funding LA Funding from own resources Overall Allocation
Carlow €1,187,817 €296,954 €1,484,771
Cavan €1,086,368 €271,592 €1,357,960
Clare * €1,583,412 €395,853 €1,979,265
Cork City €1,048,186 €262,047 €1,310,233
Cork County * €3,747,575 €936,894 €4,684,469
Donegal €527,854 €131,963 €659,817
Dublin City * €5,438,120 €1,359,532 €6,797,650
DLaoire/Rath * €1,074,116 €268,529 €1,342,645
Fingal * €1,780,937 €445,234 €2,226,171
Galway City * €803,904 €200,976 €1,004,880
Galway County €1,442,398 €360,599 €1,802,997
Kerry €1,676,840 €419,210 €2,096,050
Kildare * €2,204,809 €551,202 €2,756,011
Kilkenny €1,389,013 €347,253 €1,736,266
Laois €702,661 €175,665 €878,326
Leitrim €327,756 €81,939 €409,695
Limerick €2,382,717 €595,679 €2,978,396
Longford €591,398 €147,849 €739,247
Louth €889,398 €222,349 €1,111,747
Mayo €2,333,297 €583,324 €2,916,621
Meath €1,205,643 €301,411 €1,507,054
Monaghan €925,485 €231,371 €1,156,856
Offaly €879,336 €219,834 €1,099,170
Roscommon €756,154 €189,039 €945,193
Sligo €1,018,193 €254,548 €1,272,741
South Dublin * €1,103,252 €275,813 €1,379,065
Tipperary €2,324,123 €581,031 €2,905,154
Waterford €1,436,833 €359,208 €1,796,041
Westmeath €906,522 €226,631 €1,133,153
Wexford €1,341,615 €335,404 €1,677,019
Wicklow * €884,269 €221,067 €1,105,336
Total €45,000,000 €11,250,000 €56,250,000

Community

Lowry Welcomes Funding for Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations

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I welcome the announcement from the Department of Agriculture today that six Tipperary Animal Welfare Organisations will benefit from €86,000 between them.

Applications for 2020 funding will be open soon. All applicants must be registered with the Charities Regulator.

Cappanagarrane Horse Rescue, Mullinahone – €6,000

Great Hounds in Needs, 7 Cois Coille, Kilcash, Clonmel – €2,000

Mo Chara Animal Rescue, Ballygemmane, Thurles – €14,000

PAWS Animal Rescue, Mullinahone – €45,000

Roscrea SPCA, Roscrea – €18,000

The Haven Rescue, Tipperary, C/o 26 The Haven, Roscrea – €1,000

Funding for Animal Welfare Organisations is vital for them to continue to carry out their work.

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Drivers continuing to receive mixed messages about NCT testing inspections

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Independent TD and General Election candidate Mattie McGrath has written to the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, and the head of the NCT Test service, to seek immediate clarification around the suspension by the NCTS of its vehicle lift inspections. Deputy McGrath was speaking after reports were made that several NCT Centres have resumed full service; a claim that is contradicted on the NCT national website which says that the suspension remains in place across the NCT network:

“There is huge confusion around this issue and drivers are getting extremely frustrated by the mixed messages that they are receiving.

The NCTS are also saying that those drivers who have presented already and who have ‘failed’ their test due to an inability to access the underbody of the vehicle should hold on to their report to present to Gardai if challenged for a not having a valid NCT Cert.

I have spoken to a number of gardai however and they have assured me that they have received no instruction in this matter in terms of applying discretion to drivers.

Drivers need to know if they are going to have penalty points applied or not.

There is also the question of why these faults were not identified as part of routine reviews at each individual testing centre. Was there any need to suspend the inspections across the entire network?

We need answers to these questions so that confidence can be maintained in the NCT service and so that drivers can be free of the concern that they are going to be penalised for faults in the system outside their control,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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Improved pay and conditions for childcare workers is a priority for FF – Goldsboro

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Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Tipperary Cllr. Imelda Goldsboro says her party will address the current inequality faced by childcare workers if elected to government.

Cllr. Goldsboro made the comments as thousands of childcare workers travelled to Dublin yesterday to protest against their pay and conditions.

“Early childhood care and education is one of the most important parts of any society and the people charged with taking care of our children should not have to march on our capital to have their voices heard”, said Cllr. Goldsboro.

“Many of these workers have third level qualifications but their pay simply does not reflect that.  Fianna Fáil is committed to securing a Sectoral Employment Order for staff in the early years sector to ensure better pay and conditions.

“We will also bring forward measures to make childcare more affordable for families across Tipperary and right around the country.  There are simply not enough childcare places, and the creches and early childhood centres are being swamped with additional paperwork and increased costs.

“Insurance is a huge issue for the majority of childcare providers and we have situations now that creches are closing because they can’t afford to stay in business.

“Fianna Fáil is pledging to tackle these issues head on.  We will establish a new €10 million commercial rates relief fund, which will provide important support to creches who are crippled by commercial rates. We will also increase the National Childcare Scheme subsidy for ordinary workers with an investment of an additional €81 million to increase the universal childcare subsidy from €20 per week to €80 per week.

“Yesterday’s rally led by the Early Year’s Alliance should not be ignored by any public representatives or those seeking public office. It is paramount the next government tackle this crisis head on. It is something my Fianna Fáil colleagues and I are committed too,” concluded Cllr. Goldsboro.

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