9 August 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Labour Party spokesperson on Disability, Kathleen Lynch (A former Cork TD and Junior Minister – in the last Government) has called on the Minister for Housing to devise a specific plan for people with disabilities under Rebuilding Ireland.
Ms Lynch commented:
“Through media reports this morning, we have learned that at least 7,600 people with disabilities are on social housing waiting lists around the country.
“Under his Rebuilding Ireland plan, Minister Eoghan Murphy should ensure that a specific plan is in place to improve the housing stock for people with disabilities. Minister Murphy needs to be mindful that integration needs to be the main pillar of this plan.
“What we do know is that not all people with disabilities need to be on the social housing waiting lists, many people with disabilities may be on the list because the homes they are currently living in are unsuitable for their needs. Local Authorities need to make additional help to adapt homes available. The funds available for housing adaptation grant s needs to be increased.
“The Irish housing stock is largely inaccessible to people with mobility impairment. The Disabled Person’s Grant was introduced to part fund housing adaptation as required by people with mobility impairment. The availability of suitable adapted/designed housing to a person with a disability is an absolute basic requirement that directly contributes to a person’s ability to lead an active and independent life.
“Housing adaptation for a person with a disability is not a “lifestyle choice”, it is a basic necessity.
“Let’s not miss another opportunity to ensure that people with disabilities are fully integrated into their communities.”