Housing Aid for Older People Grant
The Housing Aid for Older People Grant is for essential repairs to improve the condition of an older person's home so they can continue to live there. It is aimed at people aged 66 and older, who are living in poor housing conditions. However, in cases of genuine hardship the local authority may help people under the age of 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 grants are all administered by local authorities.
What type of work can the grant be used for?
The grant is for essential repairs to make it possible for an older person to continue living in their home.
Essential repairs can include:
- Repairing or replacing the roof
- Upgrading the electrical wiring
- Repairing or replacing the windows and doors
- Providing central heating
You should check with your local authority to see what types of repairs they will cover.
Do I qualify for the grant?
This means-tested grant is paid for essential work to privately-owned homes where the older person either:
- Owns the home, or
- Has a right to live in the home where the work will be done
Your total gross household income is assessed to find out if you qualify for the grant and what level of assistance you can get.
Household income is the gross annual income earned by:
- All adults living in the home aged over 23 years (or over 18 and not in full-time education)
- The registered property owner and their spouse. (This income is not considered if your home is rented from a landlord, provided by an approved housing body (AHB) or is a communal residence.)
The following is not taken into account when calculating your household income:
- €5,000 for each member of the household aged under 18
- €5,000 for each member of the household aged between 18 and 23 and in full-time education
- €5,000 if a relative is caring full-time for the person who the grant is for
- Carer's Benefit
- Carer's Allowance
- Carer's Support Grant
- Child Benefit
- Working Family Payment
- Domiciliary Care Allowance
- Fuel Allowance
- Household Benefits Package
- Living Alone Allowance
- Foster Care Grant
How much is the grant?
The grant covers some of the cost of work needed, but not all of it. The amount of money you get depends on your gross household income for the previous tax year after any disregards and deductions are applied. The maximum grant available is €8,000 or 95% of the cost of the work approved by your local authority.
This maximum grant of 95% is available to people with annual household incomes of less than €30,000. This reduces to 30% for those with annual household incomes of €50,001 to €60,000. The following table shows the current rates.
|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|
If your gross household income for the previous tax year is €45,000 after the disregards and deductions are applied, your grant is 50% of the costs of the work to a maximum of €4,000. This means that if the work on the home costs €10,000 including VAT, the grant will only be €4,000 and not €5,000.
A grant is not available if the household income is more than €60,000, after the disregards and deductions are applied.
What do I need to apply?
To apply for the Housing Aid for Older People Grant you must complete the application form and provide certain evidence and supporting documents.
You must provide evidence:
- Of your gross household income for the previous tax year
- That the Local Property Tax (LPT) for your home is in order
- That your tax affairs are up-to-date
You will also need to include further information depending on the type of repairs you need. If you need:
- Roof repairs, you should include a letter from your insurance company stating that these repairs are not covered under your policy
- To upgrade the electrical wiring in your home, you should include a report from an electrician describing the necessary repairs. This electrician must be registered with Safe Electric.
- To replace an existing central heating system, you should include a report from a heating contractor saying that the existing heating system is ‘beyond economic repair’. This means that it is more cost effective to replace the heating system than repair it.
You do not need any medical documents for this grant, as it is based on the condition of your home, and how urgently the repairs are needed. However, if your application is urgent due to a medical condition, your doctor will need to complete the Doctor’s Certificate section of the application form.
How do I apply?
You can download the application form from gov.ie or from your local authority’s website. You can also get the form from your local authority. This application form is used to apply for 3 different grants which are available to older people and people with disabilities to adapt their homes. For this grant, you need to complete the sections of the form for the Housing Aid for Older People Grant.
The form contains detailed information about the scheme’s conditions and a checklist of documents that you must include. You can also 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.
What happens after I send in my application?
When the local authority receives your application, they will:
- Review your application to ensure it is complete
- Schedule a technician to visit your home to see if it is possible to do the work
- Write to you to let you know if your application has been successful and the amount you have been approved for. (The grant will not be paid if you start work before you get grant approval.)
- Ask you to send information from the contractor doing the work. This includes a quote for the work and the contractor’s tax reference number.
- Ask for the bank account details that the grant will be paid into when the work is completed
If your application for the grant is unsuccessful, you can appeal the decision. The appeal must be in writing and clearly explain why you are appealing. You must make the appeal within 3 weeks of the decision. A local authority official who was not involved with the original assessment will assess your appeal and contact you with the result. This could take up to 6 weeks.
Getting the work done safely
Under Regulations governing safety, health and welfare at work, homeowners must ensure that construction work on their home is carried out by competent people. The Health and Safety Authority has published a useful Guide for Homeowners: Getting construction work done safely (pdf) and some Frequently Asked Questions.