Thursday, 27 June 2013
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Housing Adaptation Grants Funding
192. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will account for the 50% reduction in the local authority adaptation grant from the 2012 allocation to Meath County Council; his assessment of the impact of this cut on the disabled and will he consider revisiting the allocation. [31316/13]
The requirement to reduce public expenditure to sustainable levels is impacting on capital programmes all across the public service, including my Department’s housing capital programme. The level of capital funding available has declined significantly in recent years along the lines highlighted in the Medium Term Exchequer Framework for Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2012-2016. As a result capital spending on housing programmes is subject to constraint over the short-term.
On 22 February 2013 I announced capital allocations to local authorities under the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability amounting to €42.750 million. In allocating the available funding across all 34 city and county councils I did so in as transparent and as fair a way as possible. In framing the 2013 allocations, my Department wrote to each local authority requesting details of the numbers and value of grants where work had been approved to commence. Between them local authorities reported contractual commitments in respect of approved grants totalling €18 million. his year I allocated local authorities the full amount of their contractual commitments. The balance of the available funding was allocated on the basis of each authority’s share of the new applications on hand in January 2013. Meath County Council was allocated € 487,123.
I n order to deal with any acute or particular strain which might arise in the operation of the schemes over the course of the year I have set aside a small capital reserve. To date, I have approved additional allocations totalling €1.2 million for 13 local authorities. My Department is closely monitoring expenditure across all the measures under the housing programme. I will consider requests from local authorities for further funds to be allocated to the grants measure in the event of any saving arising elsewhere.