Waterford City and County Council’s budget for disability-friendly housing is totally depleted until next year, leaving people in a “desperate situation” according to independent councillor Joe Kelly.
Just under one million euros is available through the Housing Adaption Grant, with this year’s budget having gone towards people with the most serious medical needs.
This category, known as Priority One cases, includes terminally ill people with very poor mobility. Councillor Kelly says the budget is nowhere near enough as is, and that the issue can be traced back to a lack of resources from central government and will continue unless funding is increased.
“There is still an overflow of Priority One cases. There isn’t enough money for the work on their houses and they will simply have to wait until next year’s budget and see can we cater for it then. It’s a huge problem and as the population of this country gets older, as is the trend, we’re going to come across an increasing number of people needing adjustments in their home and not having the funding to meet those adjustments,” he said.
He says Priority Two cases, which includes people in need of modifications to their bathrooms and bedrooms, are not covered at all for in the budget: “The people I’ve dealt with that got the letter that says they’re one of the unlucky ones, they’re now faced with all of 2018 not being able to access their bath or their bathroom, in the hopes they’ll be of the lucky ones in 2019 and there’s no guarantee of that either.”