People with a disability are experiencing their own housing crisis. A report carried out by Inclusion Ireland and Independent Living Movement Ireland stated “calling for a transparent, centralised waiting list that details the number of disabled people actually waiting for somewhere to live.”
The focus groups sought the views of people on their experiences of accessible housing, their experience in relation to getting affordable housing, and what housing and support services they felt were needed to live independently in the community.
The report found that –
- Accessible housing is very hard to get.
- There are very few houses that disabled people can afford.
- Grants and building rules are not working well and need to be reviewed.
- Local authority housing adaptation grants are inadequate and have a ‘harsh means test’.
The report recommended simplifying and standardising the process of applying for housing and independent living supports, with a greater quantity of accessible housing and changes to the rules for schemes such as the Housing Adaptation Grant and that it also be made available to people building their own home.
Another possible solution would be if 7.5% of all new housing stock was constructed within the principles of universal design.
The report illustrates a transparent, centralised waiting list that details the number of disabled people actually waiting for housing was needed, as well as a plan to move people out of congregated settings.