Housing applications to City and County Councils are rated or scored. In some situations where a person’s has a medical condition that impacts on their housing this can give cause for an additional rating or for the rating system to be over rided by giving an applicant an overall medical priority. The doctor’s letter submitted with the housing application is critical to this decision. A doctor within the Council will review a GP and/or Consultant’s letter and make a decision based on the information provided
The doctor’s letter must say a lot more than the fact that a person has a medical condition or disability and requires housing. You can assist your doctor in knowing what to say in his/her letter by clearly explaining the difficulties with your present accommodation and your reasons for needing to move to your own home. The suggested areas that the doctor’s letter would cover would include the following;
Also, consider writing you own letter, or sending a letter from your social worker or advocate to accompany your Housing Application Form. This letter would say what sort of housing would suit your needs; independent living (your own place in a housing development) or supported independent living of which there is very little available, but important to name it as a preferred choice. Also again give clear and strong reasons as to why you are applying to be included on the Social Housing List.
OT report for housing usually considers all your present and future needs. It will clearly state the inadequacies in your current housing environment and how these impact your independence and quality of life. Recommendations like extra bedroom for PA stay overnight, storage facilities for equipments (hoist, wheelchair etc.) may be relevant to ensure suitability of the house in longer term. There are various specific recommendations viz. kitchen design, washroom design, assistive technology for controlling physical environment (lighting, heating, audio visuals), which will advise and guide the architect/ builder about your specific needs. So, when meeting with OT re housing, you should make sure to discuss all your concerns and possible options.
An OT can be contacted through your local HSE Health Centre. OTs who work in private practice can be located at the Association of Occupational Therapist of Ireland and in the Access Directory at www.accessdirectory.ie
If there is long waiting period for a visit from a HSE OT, consider employing a private OT to write your housing report.