Proposal for 'granny flat grant' to be put forward

Proposal for 'granny flat grant' to be put forward

A grant for an elderly person to convert their home into two separate housing units is being put forward.

The proposal is being tabled by Shane Ross's Independent Alliance ahead of next week's budget.

The so-called 'granny flat grant' would be pitched as a way to help the housing crisis by encouraging older people to downsize and help them afford to stay in their houses.

It comes after the group previously called for a 'granny grant' for family members who help with childcare.

Independent Alliance TD Kevin Boxer Moran says it is only a proposal and the details are still being discussed.

"What we've done is put forward a proposal that we'll look at dividing a house and putting forward a proposal, a grant, that will allow elderly people that want to downsize and convert their houses.

"It's only a proposal. Budget time is always a time to put forward proposals and there's a number of proposals on the table in relation to housing," he said.

Meanwhile, Ealine Loughlin writes that pensioners would be given up to €15,000 to convert their family home into two units under the plans.

Those living alone in large family homes would be encouraged to split their houses in two and rent the new unit to a family or single person unable to find accomodation.

The proposal has been put forward by the grouping after their initial idea to provide a granny grant for grandparents who care for their grandchildren was slapped down by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Speaking at the launch of the DEBRA Ireland Report on outreach nursing care this morning, Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath said the grant would be "in the same region" as the housing adaptation grant for people with disabilities.

"I would see the grants being in the region of €10,000 to €15,000, that's the figure I am thinking of," said the Independent Alliance TD.

If you have a women who is in her 70s or 80s who is living in a huge house where there is extra space, why not give them some sort of grant, some sort of a tax break, some sort of a financial reward if they agree to the conversion of the house into a second unit?

"You could have the senior citizen who is on her own in a big empty building downstairs and a young family upstairs which would make a contribution to the housing crisis and the second thing there would be a bit of company for the senior citizen who is on her own," he said.

Elaine Loughlin and Digital Desk

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