A crisis within a crisis

Irish Wheelchair Association’s Think Housing, Build Accessible campaign highlights the serious challenge wheelchair users face trying to buy or rent a home in Ireland as there are virtually no wheelchair accessible homes on the market.

Why we need your support

Irish Wheelchair Association’s Think Housing, Build Accessible campaign is calling on the Government to:

  • Review the Building Regulations, 2010, Part M (Access and Use) to ensure higher wheelchair accessibility standards in new houses and apartments.
  • Ensure that 7% of all new builds are fully wheelchair accessible.

We have heard first-hand accounts of wheelchair users: 

  • Suffering falls and accidents because their home isn’t safe for their needs.
  • Forced to live in nursing homes despite being young and eager to live independently.
  • Needing help getting in and out of their homes as they face steps, gravel or narrow entrances.

People with physical disabilities are facing a housing crisis of their own. Thousands of people with physical disabilities are living in housing that is unsafe, inaccessible and unsuitable to their needs.

Irish building regulations do the absolute minimum on wheelchair accessibility. Under the regulations, housing must be suitable for wheelchair users to visit, but not accessible enough to live in.

Without changes to the housing regulations, people with physical disabilities will continue to be caught in an endless housing crisis and forced to live in unsuitable, inaccessible housing. We need this Government to build accessible.

  • Almost 1,500 people with physical disabilities are trapped on the social housing list, some for over seven years.
  • 1,300 people under 65 years of age live in nursing homes primarily occupied by older people. Many of these wish to have a home of their own in a community of their choice.
  • Thousands more are coping with whatever accommodation they can find, including barriers such as stairs and rooms that can’t fit their wheelchairs.

People with physical disabilities cannot continue to be excluded from attempts to solve the housing crisis and denied the right to live independently. We need commitment from this Government to end this hidden housing crisis. The building regulations must be reviewed and an adequate amount of fully accessible housing built.

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Think Housing, Build Accessible
Lead by Irish Wheelchair Association, this campaign is supported by FEDVOL, NDSA, NCBI, DFI, ILMI, ENABLE IRE, REHAB, CRC, CHIME and CHESHIRE. We have come together to form one strong voice calling for the equal rights of people with disabilities to access housing.