Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly TD and Minister of State for Housing & Planning, Paudie Coffey TD have today announced over €91 million worth of housing investment.
The funding will be used across a range of housing schemes to make more social housing available and to improve housing for people with disabilities, as well as retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency.
Over 1,000 vacant social housing units will be refurbished and tenanted by people on the social housing waiting list at a cost of over €20 million countrywide. Dublin City and Cork City are receiving the largest allocations, with priority going to families facing homelessness. Funding was allocated to the local authorities with the greatest potential to deliver units quickly and address needs. Over 2,300 units were brought on stream last year with an average cost of refurbishment of €11,277.
A further €50.5 million will be made available for Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability living in private houses. . This 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.) with more funding set to come later in the year. A further €11 million will be made available for local authority house adaptations and extensions to meet the needs of tenants with a disability and to deal with overcrowding.
Meanwhile Minister Kelly has made available a further €20 million for the improvement of local authority houses to make them more energy efficient. This programme continues to sustain and create jobs while making a significant contribution to Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction targets and energy reduction targets for 2020, resulting in warmer homes and lower energy bills for local authority tenants.
As part of the EU Operational Programme 2014-2020, the energy efficiency works on social housing will attract funding under the ERDF. This will see EU co-financing of 50% of eligible public investment under these programmes.
Minister Kelly said:
“The funding that I am announcing today, will significantly improve the quality of life of many people across Ireland. One of my huge frustrations is seeing boarded up social housing not being used, therefore it is important to see over 1,000 vacant units come back on stream as quickly as is possible,”
“Secondly funding has been secured to allow older people and people with a disability extend their homes or provide aids to mobility within their home through the housing adaptation grants scheme. This is hugely important for those affected as it can greatly improve the quality of life for those who either have a disability or are reaching an age in life when they are less mobile; the grants provide significant social benefit by facilitating citizens to continued independent occupancy in their own homes.
Minister Coffey said:
“This funding is part of a huge Government commitment to housing and improving the quality of life of those who are dependent on the system of public housing. This will provide a boost to the construction sector nationally,”