Irish County Council or Corporation grants assist with necessary adaptation works to allow you to remain living in your home. They are based on an Occupational Therapist Assessment as well as means test.
What is the Housing Adaptation Grant?
If you have a disability, or reduced mobility you may be eligible for a grant to adapt your home from your local council. This grant covers access ramps, stairlifts, downstairs toilets, accessible bathrooms, extensions and more.
The grants amount can vary from council to council, but can go up to 90% of the cost of works. You may also be eligible to get a refund of all or some of your Occupational Therapist Assessment should your grant be approved.
Specifics can vary from local council to local council, and we have put a link to each county council’s own Housing Adaptation Grant pages at the end of this article.
What is the benefit to adapting your home?
Adapting your home may become necessary as you grow older. You may also need to adapt your home if you or a family member has a disability.
Even if you are approaching retirement and are currently fit and well, if you are planning on staying in your home well into your old age, you could benefit from an OT Assessment at least.
If you are not planning on downsizing your house, any changes, extensions or upgrading to your property in the coming years should ideally be done after you have had an OT Assessment. This will provide you with some general guidelines on what to, and more importantly what not to do with any future building works.
Even if you are thinking of moving home, either buying an existing house, or a new build, it can save you worry, time and money down the line by planning ahead.
What sort of adaptations are usual?
One of the benefits of obtaining an assessment for an adaptation is that it is tailored to your requirements, and to the building itself. In general, however adaptations can range from widening doorways and passageways, to moving light switches or door handles to installing grab rails for support. Often if there is a second floor, a stairlift may be recommended, or re-purposing a downstairs room to act as a bedroom.
Often the bathroom and kitchen, along with entry and access points to the house are the main focus. Depending on the situation of the individual, a room may be required to have additional specialised equipment installed such as hoists etc., as well as linking to monitoring systems for emergency or homecare services.
What does the OT Housing Assessment typically do?
In a nutshell, the Occupational Therapist will assess your daily living needs and advise on adaptations to your home.
Specifically, the assessment visit will review:
- Full assessment of the house for safety for the individual(s).
- Any adaptations that may need to happen to increase safety.
- Any adaptations that may need to allow more independent living.
- Make recommendations for equipment. Stairlifts, Rails, ramps etc.
- Provide advice on safety in the home to prevent falls etc.
Although not part of the Grant process, it is sometimes advisable to have the OT visit after works have been carried out so they can assist you any teething issues with the equipment or new layouts if needed.
How do I go about Obtaining the Housing Grant?
The procedures to obtain the housing grant are subject to change and dependent on financial budgets at the time from council to council.
Therefore, it is always recommended to contact your council directly to enquire about the current grant process, the grant criteria and waiting times for the processing of the grant.
Be aware that the council grants cover essential adaptations. Any extras are subject to full payment by you.
We would suggest the following steps.
- Check your local council’s requirements (below).
Some councils require your GPs stamp, and other tax or financial information, so please make sure that you start getting the documents.
- Get an Occupational Therapist to assess your house in time.
- Timing is the key in all situations. Planning ahead will save you a lot of time, money and worry.
In the case of a growing child who lives at home whose needs will change as they get older – don’t wait until they need the extra space.
- If there is an accident or injury to a family member that will require longer term home adjustments, don’t wait until the week before they return home.
Often there can be long periods of recuperation outside the home involved in recovery. Use the teams and resources there early on to help get your home prepared.
- Once you have the assessment report, obtain quotations from providers / builders to cost the work. Most of the grant applications require at least two, if you can get three or more, even better. Make sure the provider you are contacting for quotations are registered. If you have a question, please follow up directly with the council. You can also ask the OT, or the supplier of the adaptations such as stairlifts or ramps for a recommendation of a registered builder.
Useful Information & Links
The Irish Citizens Information Centre has a great overview on Housing Adaptation on it’s site here:
Below are the main council direct links to Housing Adaptation Grants for Dublin and surrounds.
South Dublin County Council
Fingal County Council
Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council
Kildare County Council
Wicklow County Council
If you want to look at the types of adaptations and equipment available please check out the suppliers below.
Also, Assist Ireland has compiled a one page of all the providers of Lifts and Stairlifts. (Many of these offer additional home living aids also)