§ Rev. Martin Smyth
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what grants are available from his Department for the buying, installation and running of emergency alarms for the elderly and disabled; and what information he has as to grants available from local authorities for similar purposes.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
Housing Association grant is available to registered housing associations for the purchase and installation of emergency alarm systems in sheltered housing schemes and for the linking of these to a centralised warden call system. The running costs of this service are borne by the tenants through a charge included in their rent.
In addition under the house renovation grant scheme administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, the cost of provision and installation of emergency alarms in the homes of disabled people may be grant-aided. However, this assistance cannot be extended to include maintenance or running costs.
Under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1978 health and social services boards may also make arrangements for the provision of facilities such as telephones or alarms in the homes of disabled persons at risk.