A housing adaptation grant is available where changes need to be made to a home to make it suitable for a person with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability or mental health difficulty to live in.
The grant can help you to make changes and adaptations to your home, for example, making it wheelchair-accessible, extending it to create more space, adding a ground-floor bathroom or toilet or a stair-lift. In some cases, the provision of heating can be included, but only under certain conditions.
If you only require minor work, you can apply for the means-tested Mobility Aids Grant Scheme instead.
These 2 schemes (and the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme) are administered by local authorities, under the Housing (Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability) Regulations 2007, which were amended by new Regulations in 2014.
VAT refunds are available on aids and appliances used by people with disabilities. This refund scheme also applies to the cost of installation and adaptation work. Several other grants and schemes are outlined in ‘Other financial supports’ below.
The Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability can be paid to people in:
- Owner-occupied housing
- Houses being purchased from a local authority under the Tenant Purchase Scheme
- Private rented accommodation (the duration of your tenancy can affect grant approval)
- Accommodation provided under the voluntary housing Capital Assistance and Rental Subsidy schemes
- Accommodation occupied by people living in communal residences
If you purchase or build a new home, you may get the grant but at a lower rate – see ‘Rates’ below.
You must satisfy the local authority that you will occupy the property as your normal place of residence when the works have been done. If you are a tenant, you must also get written approval from your landlord.
Your application will be prioritised based on medical need. There are 3 priority levels:
- Priority 1: A person who is terminally ill or fully or mainly dependent on their family or carer; or where alterations or adaptations would facilitate their discharge from hospital or alleviate the need for hospitalisation in the future
- Priority 2: A person who is mobile but who needs assistance in accessing washing, toilet facilities, bedroom etc.; or where without the alterations or adaptations their ability to function independently would be hindered
- Priority 3: A person who is independent but who requires special facilities to improve their quality of life, for example, a separate bedroom or living space
Assessment by occupational therapist
An occupational therapist’s (OT) assessment may be required. The local authority can arrange for this, or you can employ an OT yourself and recoup up to €200 of the cost from the local authority as part of the grant, subject to the maximum grant limit.
If you are applying for the grant to adapt your home for a child with a disability, and the child has had an assessment of need under Part 2 of the Disability Act 2005, the local authority should refer to the OT recommendations contained in this assessment report.
Your total household income is assessed to find out if you qualify for the grant and the amount payable.
Household income is:
- The property owner’s (or tenant’s) annual gross income, together with their spouse’s or partner’s annual gross income, in the previous tax year
- The income of any other adults living in the household who are aged over 23 years if in full-time education, or aged over 18 and not in full-time education
The following is not taken into account when calculating your household income:
- €5,000 for each member of the household aged up to 18 years
- €5,000 for each member of the household aged between 18 and 23 years and in full-time education or on a SOLAS apprenticeship
- €5,000 where the person to whom the grant application relates is being cared for by a relative on a full-time basis
- Child Benefit
- Family Income Supplement
- Domiciliary Care Allowance
- Respite Care Grant
- Carer’s Benefit and Carer’s Allowance (if the carer’s payment is made in respect of the person to whom the grant application relates)
Tax information required
When applying for the grant, you must provide:
- Your tax reference number
- Details of your tax district and
- A statement that, to the best of your knowledge, your tax affairs are in order
If the value of your grant application adds up to €10,000 or more, you must make a valid Tax Clearance Certificate available to the local authority. You can either provide the physical certificate or else give the local authority your customer number and the reference number of the certificate and authorise it to confirm your tax clearance status electronically.
For all grant payments contractors must produce confirmation of tax clearance.
Local Property Tax: You must also provide evidence of ownership of the property and evidence that the Local Property Tax (LPT) on it has been paid. There is full exemption from LPT for property that has been bought, built or adapted to make it suitable for occupation by a permanently and totally incapacitated person as their sole or main residence. In the case of adaptations to a property, the exemption will only apply where the cost of the adaptations exceeds 25% of the market value of the property before it is adapted. Read more in our document, Exemptions from Local Property Tax and in Revenue’s guidelines (pdf).
Quotations for works
The local authority will only pay grants on the basis of quotations that it considers reasonable. In general, you must include 2 written itemised quotations from contractors, indicating the cost of the work required. If you cannot get a second quotation, or in cases of hardship, the local authority may accept a single quotation.
It is recommended that the proposed works should include the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, if they are not already present and operating in your home.
Starting the work to adapt your home
The grant will not be paid if you start work before you get grant approval. However, it is expected that the work will start within 6 months of your grant approval. If this does not happen, the local authority may allow a time extension.
Getting the work done safely
Under the Regulations governing safety, health and welfare at work, homeowners are obliged to ensure that construction work on their home is carried out by competent people. Read more, including a guide for homeowners (pdf) and some Frequently Asked Questions, on the website of the Health and Safety Authority.
Applying for a further grant
In general, the work done on your home is expected to be appropriate to your future needs as well as your current needs. However, if your needs change substantially over time, you may find that further works are required. You can apply again for a Housing Adaptation Grant and your application will be assessed in the normal way. There is no minimum time limit between the payment of a first and second grant.
Other financial supports
As noted above, VAT refunds are available on the cost of aids and appliances used by people with disabilities, as well as on the cost of installation and adaptation work.
You may also qualify for a partial tax credit under the Home Renovation Incentive.
Check the details of these schemes to see how they can be combined.
If your household income is less than €30,000 you may qualify for 95% of the cost of the works (up to the maximum grant amount of €30,000). The proportion of the costs to be grant aided will be tapered from 95% down to 30%, depending on your income. If your house is less than 12 months old the grant will generally not exceed €14,500.
Note: The maximum amounts may not be fully awarded. Grant amounts are subject to the funding of each local authority, so the local authority can decide whether they pay the full grant or a percentage in each case.
If you are unable to get a loan from a bank or building society to pay for the costs not covered by the grant, you may be able to get a local authority home improvement loan.
If you are a local authority tenant, the local authority will meet the entire cost of the works.
Rates for houses over 12 months old
|Maximum yearly household income||% of costs||Maximum grant|
|Up to €30,000||95%||€30,000|
|€30,001 – €35,000||85%||€25,000|
|€35,001 – €40,000||75%||€22,500|
|€40,001 – €50,000||50%||€15,000|
|€50,001 – €60,000||30%||€9,000|
|Over €60,000||No grant payable|
Rates for houses less than 12 months old
|Maximum yearly household income||% of costs||Maximum grant|
|Up to €30,000||95%||€14,500|
|€30,001 – €35,000||85%||€12,325|
|€35,001 – €40,000||75%||€10,875|
|€40,001 – €50,000||50%||€7,250|
|€50,001 – €60,000||30%||€4,350|
|Over €60,000||No grant payable|
How to apply
Download an application form from your local authority’s website or ask for one to be posted to you. The form contains detailed information on the scheme’s conditions and a checklist of documents that you must include.If you are unhappy with the local authority’s decision in your case, you can appeal the decision. The appeal must be in writing and must be made within 3 weeks of the decision. You must state the reasons and grounds for your appeal.
Further information is available from your local authority.
Credit: Citizens Information