People with disabilities face significant challenges in finding a suitable home to live in - new report from DFI and the Citizens Information Board

December 7 2022, 04:48pm

DFI CIB online launch

A social policy report, published on Tuesday 6 December, by the Citizens Information Board (CIB) and the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI), found that people with disabilities face significant challenges when it comes to finding a suitable home to live in. The new report entitled The Right Home: the Housing Needs of People with Disabilities was launched on behalf of CIB and DFI by Minister of State for Housing Peter Burke at an online event which was attended by a broad audience of disability organisations and disabled individuals, housing organisations, the National Disability Authority, the National Advocacy Service, Citizens Information Services, local government and statutory agencies, amongst others.

While acknowledging the severe housing crisis that Ireland has been experiencing, the report documents the disproportionate extent to which people with disabilities are failed by the system, and the range of challenges that they continue to experience in seeking to find a suitable home to live in. Housing policy is critical to enabling disabled people to enjoy equality of opportunity, to exercise personal choice, to participate fully in society, and to live with independence. The report highlights good practice components in addressing the housing needs of disabled people and says future strategy must have a rights-based perspective. Finally, the report outlines a framework for addressing the issues identified.

DFI’s CEO John Dolan said, “We know that Ireland is currently dealing with a major housing crisis, but it is clear from this report that Disability housing is a crisis within a crisis, with disabled people having even less options than others in a very difficult housing market. Similarly, while societal understanding of the needs and rights of disabled people has gradually improved, some assumptions persist that people with disabilities should be looked after by family or charities and, by implication, that they should remain dependent rather than become independent. This mindset has to change so that disabled people can access the same suite of housing options that are available to the general population – disability must be factored into all discussions and policy considerations on housing.”

Commenting at the launch, Minister Burke said that he welcomed the report as a timely, valuable and important piece of research.

DFI and CIB are grateful to Yomi Ogunsanya, Polio Survivors Ireland and Brian Hogan, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland for sharing their lived experiences at the report launch.

The report is available to read here.