Lack of wheelchair liveable housing ‘forcing young people into nursing homes’
Apply to your local authority now.
That’s the advice for disabled people living in Cork as the Irish Wheelchair Association launches Think Ahead, Think Housing 2022, its annual campaign for more social housing for people with disabilities.
The campaign is encouraging anyone with a disability in Cork who wants to move out of home and begin their independent life or anyone who is worried about where they will end up living as they get older to apply to their local authority for housing sooner rather than later.
“Across our membership, we see that there is no wheelchair liveable housing available through private rental or local authorities,” said Tony Cunningham, national director of housing at Irish Wheelchair Association.
“At Irish Wheelchair Association we are campaigning for change, but it is the responsibility of disabled people to apply to their local authority for social housing in order to be included in local authorities’ new housing development plans, which will take a number of years to be completed.”
Mr Cunningham said that there isn’t just an accessible housing shortage, there is a complete absence of any wheelchair-liveable housing options across Ireland right now.
“As a result, across Ireland 1,300 young and middle-aged people with physical disabilities have been forced to live in nursing homes for older people because of the lack of accessible social housing. This cannot be the future and there is a lot of work to do locally and nationally for our housing campaign.”
The government’s national housing strategy aims to increase the supply of social housing to an average of 33,000 per year over the next decade through €4 billion in state funding per year.
“Also, for the first time, applicants can register their need for wheelchair liveable accommodation on their application form,” said Jean Coleman, Irish Wheelchair Association’s national housing programme manager.
“Before 2021, it had not been possible for a disabled person to specifically include their accessibility requirements on their social housing application form. So, we are calling on people with disabilities who want a home of their own to contact their local authority for the new social housing application form.”
For more details, visit iwa.ie/thinkhousing.ie.