Call for changes to HAP scheme
Cavan County Council will lobby the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, for grant support for security measures for the vulnerable.
Cllr TP O’Reilly (FG) raised the matter at the February meeting of the authority when asking for security measures to qualify under the Housing Adaptation Grants scheme.
The grant for older people and those with a disability is a means tested and available from the local authorities to fund changes to a home to make it more suitable for a person with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability or mental health difficulty.
The grant facilitates adaptations like making homes wheelchair-accessible, extending to create more space, adding a ground-floor bathroom or toilet or a stairlift.
Cllr O’Reilly explained to the Celt why he felt it was important to broaden the scope of the grant: “I want to see security measures approved under these grants. At present they are not seen as an ‘essential repair’. I think it’s important for older people living alone or vulnerable people to be able to feel safe in there own home, so I would call for security measures to be included in the HOP.”
Cllr Shane P. O’Reilly (Ind) backed the motion saying: “This is a major problem for people in rural areas. The provision of things like sensor lights would give great comfort. There is a very real need for extra security for the elderly in rural areas.”
Cllr TP O’Reilly said items such as cameras, alarms or sensor lighting would reassure many vulnerable people.
The council agreed to seek a response from the department. All other councillors were supportive of the call.