Financial assistance of up to €8000 Euro is available via local authorities under a scheme called “Housing Aid for Older People” .
The Grants for Home Repairs for Pensioners are for people aged 66 years or older, who are living in poor housing conditions. (In cases of genuine hardship a local authority may also assist people under age 66.) You should apply for the scheme as early in the year as possible as many local authorities run out of funding as early as May although some councils keep a small emergency fund for extreme cases.
The grant can only be paid to owner occupiers (or to people who are buying their house from the local authority under the Tenant Purchase Scheme.)
In 2016 the average grant payment under this scheme was €3692
In 2016 a total of €12.6 million was paid out for 3425 properties. Cork County Council paid out the most in 2016 – €1,534,850 .
All the local authorities have different guidelines regarding the type of work they will award grants for. You should check with your own local authority to see which types of work they will cover. In general , only essential repairs that make a property habitable will be covered under the scheme. This would typically include things such as :
Roof repairs or re-roofing
The provision of water, sanitary services and central heating
The replacement of windows or doors will be considered on a case by case basis and only those considered essential will be replaced under the scheme
. (Some councils seem to exclude door and window replacement from their grant schemes – but it may be worth applying and appealing if you get refused)
It is a means tested grant. The maximum grant of 95% of the cost of works (Maximum of €8000) can be given to households where the total annual household income is less than €30,000. (That is €576 a week)
So a single person or a couple on just a full state pension would easily qualify under income rules.
The grant is also prioritised on medical needs. People for whom alterations or adaptations would facilitate their discharge from hospital or the continuance of care in their own home will get the highest priority .
The local authorites have a fixed budget to spend and they decide who gets it. There is an appeal process.
Households with income under €30,000 can get 95% of the cost ( Max €8000)
Households with income from €30,000 – €35,000 can get 85% of the cost ( Max €6,800)
Households with income from €35,001 – €40,000 can get 75% of costs (Max €6,000)
Households with income from €40,001 – €50,000 can get 50% of the cost (Max €4,000)
Households with income from €50,001 – €60,000 can get 30% of the cost (Max €2,400)
Households with income over €60,000 a year do not qualify.
Contact your Local Authority to get a claim form and to find out more details.
Credit: Money Guide Ireland