Reviewing Local Authority Strategic Plans for Housing People with Disabilities.
April 7 2021
Reviewing Local Strategic Plans for Housing People with Disabilities.
DFI sits on several Housing Disability Steering Groups, HDSGs, co-ordinated by Local Authorities.
These groups, including Approved Housing Bodies, the HSE and disability organisations, are currently involved in the review of Local Strategic Plans (2017-2020) for Housing People with Disabilities. DFI is part of this review in the following areas:
•Galway City and County
• Cork City and County
Within our submissions to the review we’ve highlighted the following issues.
1. The need for a rights-based approach to housing, focusing on the following UN CRPD Articles:
- 4.3, Decision Making and Consultation
- 19, Living Independently and Being Included in the Community
- 26, Access to Assistive Technology
- 28, Adequate Standard of Living and Social Protection
2. The need for an accessible Communications Strategy to inform all disabled people and / or their carers about what the strategy contains, local authority housing options and the role of Housing Disability Steering Groups.
3. The need for a more diverse representation on the HDSGs to include disabled people’s organisations, universal access and advocacy groups, and carers' representatives.
4. The importance of including the lived experience of disability in housing design. This process also gives us an opportunity to highlight wider issues including:
- The need for the Department of Housing to fund the general inclusion of Universal Design to provide lifetime accessible housing for the needs of all residents.
- The revision of Part M guidelines.
- The need for income thresholds for social housing and grants to be revised upwards to reflect the extra costs of living for people with disabilities.
- The need to increase housing adaptation grants in line with inflation and building costs.
- The deficit in funding from the HSE for Personal Assistant hours, crucial to supporting independent living.
- The need to promote policy and implementation links between HSE service provision and local authorities.
- The need to resource housing for people with disabilities in a similar way to the Age Friendly Alliance including Disability Specific Technical Housing Specialists within local authorities.