Getting onto the property ladder is challenging for anyone, but when your accommodation requires specific circulation space and accessibility because you are using a wheelchair, it adds a whole new level of complexity.
On top of that, people with physical disabilities face many extra barriers and discrimination, which can affect educational opportunities and contribute to unemployment and a lack of income.
People with physical disabilities have always faced obstacles to finding suitable accommodation due to the lack of forward planning for including fully wheelchair accessible social housing with appropriate design within a set number of units in all social housing projects.
The Government must:
- Ensure that all social housing projects supported by capital funding from the Department of The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government including Part V and Regeneration Housing, deliver an agreed 7% of integrated mainstream social housing units that are wheelchair accessible to an agreed best practice design standard as demonstrated by Irish Wheelchair Association.
- The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government must direct local authorities to review their approved social housing lists and identify the number of people/households who require wheelchair accessible housing.
- The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government must direct that all local authorities should require every social housing pipeline project to demonstrate at Capital Appraisal Stage the inclusion of a minimum 7% of fully wheelchair accessible housing, which would increase based on the approved housing list and the demand in the area Irish Wheelchair Association is offering to work with the Minister to establish targeted procedures to achieve the above outcomes.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Article 28 on Adequate Standard of Living and Social Protection states: “that governments must ensure access by persons with disabilities to public housing programmes.