The Housing Aid for Older People Scheme is used to improve the condition of an older person's home. In general, it is aimed at people 66 years of age and older, who are living in poor housing conditions. However, in cases of genuine hardship the local authority may assist people under age 66.
If you have a disability and your home needs to be adapted to make it more accessible, the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability or the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme may be more suitable for you.
These 3 schemes 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 work.
Local authorities have been instructed that only essential repairs should be undertaken to make the property habitable for the applicant.
Local authorities vary as regards what type of work they will grant aid under the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme. You should check with your own local authority to see which types of work its scheme will cover.
The type of work that is grant aided can include some or all of the following:
Many older people may be eligible for the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme. However, priority will be given to people on the basis of financial need.
The grant can be paid to people in:
Your application will be prioritised based on medical need. Highest priority will be given to people for whom alterations or adaptations would facilitate their discharge from hospital or the continuance of care in their own home.
When the local authority receives your application, it may request an occupational therapist's (OT) assessment. 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 that applies in your case.
Your total household income is assessed to find out if you qualify for the grant and at what level of assistance.
Household income is:
The following is not taken into account when calculating your household income:
When applying for the grant, you must provide:
You must also provide evidence of ownership of the property and evidence that the Local Property Tax on it has been paid.
You must include a written itemised quotation from a contractor, indicating the cost of the work required. If the local authority considers that this quotation is unreasonable, it will ask you to get another one. 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.
For all grant payments, contractors must provide confirmation of tax clearance.
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.
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.
It is possible to get a grant under the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme a second time if your needs have substantially changed over time.
The maximum grant available under the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme is €8,000, which may cover 95% of the approved cost of works.
This maximum grant of 95% is available to people with annual household incomes of less than €30,000, tapering to 30% for those with annual household incomes of €50,001 to €60,000. The following table shows the current rates.
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.
|Maximum yearly household income||% of costs||Maximum grant|
|Up to €30,000||95%||€8,000|
|€30,000 - €35,000||85%||€6,800|
|€35,001 - €40,000||75%||€6,000|
|€40,001 - €50,000||50%||€4,000|
|€50,001 - €60,000||30%||€2,400|
|Over €60,000||No grant payable|
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.
Contact the Housing Section of your local authority for information about the eligibility rules in your area, which may differ from those in other local authority areas.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.