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Ireland to improve housing for persons with disabilities

adult woman on wheelchair entering the building

Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, welcomes the government’s renewed commitment under Housing for All: A New Housing Plan for Ireland to improve housing options for persons with disabilities and their families.

Housing for All is a multi-annual, multi-billion euro plan which will improve Ireland’s housing system and deliver more homes of all types for people with different housing needs.

“The Housing for All strategy recognises that housing policy must address the needs of our society’s more vulnerable members, and that the current restricted options for people with a disability is among the most pressing issues. I welcome the commitment in Housing for All to support our vulnerable members of society but most of all that people with a disability will be treated on an equal basis and be supported in their choices for independent living.” said Minister Rabbitte.

“This government has a vision of a vibrant, inclusive and thriving Ireland where no one is left behind. Central to this vision is ensuring that people with disabilities are supported to live the lives that they want to and are provided equal opportunities to do so.”

Under Housing for All, Local Authority Housing Delivery Action Plans will set out how dedicated social housing provision appropriate to the needs of people with a disability will be delivered, matching the scale and extent of housing need identified for people with a disability and having regard to forecasts in the recently published Review of Disability Social Care Demand and Capacity Requirements up to 2032.

Local Authorities must also consider the needs of people with a disability in the wider planning process. In this regard, the new Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA) Framework also specifically requires consideration of the housing needs of people with a disability. The evidence garnered through the HNDA process on disability can then be used when making Local Authority Housing Strategies as part of the Development Plan process, thereby ensuring that the planning process fully considers how to provide for the housing needs of people with a disability.

Additional actions in the Strategy include a review of the range of housing grants available to assist with meeting specific housing needs, including the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability, and implementation of relevant changes; and the nomination of Disability Friendly Housing Technical Advisors in each Local Authority.

Minister Rabbitte further commented on the commitment within Housing for All to meet the housing needs of people with disabilities:

“We must ensure that public and social housing is built with universal design principles and include the consideration of disability in all housing policy reviews. I welcome the commitment to provide continued capital funding for housing for specific vulnerable cohorts, such as housing for people with a disability, through the Capital Assistance Scheme and other social housing schemes.

“For those with a disability, the co-ordination of housing provision with the delivery of health and social care supports is paramount. A key commitment of Housing for All is to deliver a new National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (2022-2027), with a range of actions which will detail co-ordination and alignment of housing, health, and community. My officials and the HSE are working with the Department of Housing and the Housing Agency on this important Strategy which will set out a roadmap to facilitate meeting the housing needs of people using the data set out in the Disability Capacity Review and in line with the aspirations of ‘Housing for All’. I look forward to its completion and publication by the end of this year.”

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