A special €2.1m fund in the South Dublin County Council area will allow older people and those with disabilities to live independently by adapting their own private homes, according to Minister, Katherine Zappone.

The Minister says the Government is making the money available to allow  changes to make a home more suitable for person with a physical, sensory,  intellectual disability or with mental health difficulties as well as  older people.

The special Housing Adaption Grants will fund works such as wheel-chair  ramps and accessibility, small extensions for extra space, ground floor  bathrooms and toilets as well as stair-lifts.

Welcoming the grants Minister Zappone added: “Older people and people with disabilities want to live in the communities  they know, surrounded by family, friends and neighbours. These special  grants will allow that. Government places great importance on this scheme and is providing 80% of  the funding with the remainder coming from South Dublin County Council.

Grants of up to €30,000 are available for some-one with a disability to  carry out works to make their home more suitable for their needs. Older  people living in poor housing conditions can get a grant of up to €8,000.  There is also support of up to €6,000 for mobility aids.

In addition to the benefits for the people concerned they scheme will also generate work for local builders and tradespeople.  This scheme has been changing lives in our communities since 2007, however  this year there is a significant 11% increase in support.

I would urge the Council to ensure there is a lot of awareness about the  help available by promoting it online, through their public offices and  libraries. In Rathfarnham, Tallaght and Citywest we have close knit neighbourhoods  where people look out for each other. It is very important. Now through  these grants more people will be able to stay in their home and continue  to enjoy being part of their local community.”