Housing grant cuts will hit disabled residents

Jo is fighting to help people whose housing grants have been affected

Jo Swinson has voiced concern over vulnerable East Dunbartonshire residents missing out on grants for crucial home improvements.

Private Sector Housing Grants, distributed by Communities Scotland prior to May 2007, have been frozen by the SNP Scottish Government. The grants are awarded to pay for home repairs and modifications, including those to help vulnerable residents, such as walk-in baths for physically disabled people.

Jo has recently been contacted by residents hoping to receive grants in the near future, who have now been told by the SNP Scottish Government that they may never receive any money for home improvements.

Jo said:

“These grants allow homeowners to make vital improvements, often to help care for vulnerable people. In one case I have come across, a full-time carer was awaiting a grant to have a walk-in bath installed for her husband, whose mobility is severely affected following a stroke.

“The whole future of this scheme has now been thrown into doubt. Many people who were on the verge of receiving grants now have no idea whether they will receive anything. In some cases, people have had to pay for improvements themselves as they cannot wait for the situation to be cleared up.

“I wrote to Nicola Sturgeon to raise this matter over two weeks ago and have heard nothing back.

“In the short term, it is vital that individual cases awaiting grants are resolved, while in the long term the private sector housing grant scheme must be put on a secure footing. The Scottish Government needs to get its act together over this.”

Milngavie Councillor Eric Gotts said:

“I have been contacted by a number of Milngavie residents who are suffering because of the uncertain future of the housing grants scheme.

“Having contacted Finance Minister John Swinney to get to the bottom of this matter, I was shocked to learn that he was totally unaware of any problem. The Scottish Government must act urgently to resolve this situation.

“I have also raised the problem at the most recent Social Services Committee and Council officers have been asked to look into the whole matter.”

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