Minister Willie Penrose launched the “National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability” in the Custom House on 6th October 2011. The new Government Strategy was developed by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, in conjunction with the Department of Health and the HSE, and with the assistance of a National Advisory Group, comprising relevant stakeholders, including organisations representing people with a disability.
In launching the strategy, Minister Penrose said “I am pleased to say that this new strategy contributes to the continued delivery of a range of key commitments under the Programme for Government. These include the implementation of the National Disability Strategy, the promotion of universal design, the closure of unsuitable psychiatric institutions and movement of people to community based living facilities; and the development of specific strategies for older patients and those with intellectual disabilities who remain under the care of mental health services”. The Strategy can be downloaded here.
Irish Wheelchair Association has written a summary of the National Housing Strategy which highlights key points and is available here.
The Minister for Housing & Planning, Ms. Jan O’Sullivan, TD, and the Minister for Disability, Equality, Mental Health & Older People, Ms. Kathleen Lynch, TD, in July of 2012, published the National Implementation Framework to support the Government’s National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability, 2011–2016. The Implementation Framework was developed by an Implementation Planning Group, chaired by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, in conjunction with the Department of Health, along with representatives from the HSE, Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, City & County Managers’ Association and the Housing Agency. The Housing Agency has the job of implementing the Housing Strategy and has set up a Housing Sub Group to advise on the Strategy implementation; IWA has a seat on this group representing the member organisations of Disability Federation of Ireland.
Under the direction of the Housing Agency, the implementation of the “National Housing Strategy for people with a Disability 2011-2016” has required all Councils to establish Housing and Disability Steering Groups. The membership of these groups to include representatives from the Council, the HSE, Voluntary Housing Associations and disability representative groups. The Housing and Disability Steering Groups are chaired by senior management from within the Council and are required by the Department of the Environment to write their own individual Strategic Plans for Housing People with a Disability. This Council Strategic Housing Plan for People with a Disability should be linked with the overall Council Services Plan and should be based on the housing need of people with a disability who are registered on the Council’s Social Housing List and on the expected emerging housing need of people with a disability over the coming years.” For more information contact the Housing Services Manager in your local Council.
For information on key policy documents that relate to people with disability see the Federation of Voluntary Bodies web site at: http://www.fedvol.ie/Key_Policy_Documents/Default.1693.html