Thursday, 16 September 2021
Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters
I appreciate the Minister of State's response and I can hear his dedication to ensuring people have the option of independent living in accessible houses. However, we are still in the situation in which we are. The development I referred to in Clonakilty will provide secure housing for so many vulnerable people on low incomes. Out of the 50 houses, to have only one adapted toilet is not good enough. Perhaps local authorities need to be explicitly instructed to ensure that when they are building social housing developments, a much higher percentage of those houses are accessible to reflect the number of people in Ireland living with disabilities or who are wheelchair users. That needs to happen. I gave the example of that young gentleman who is renting and who cannot avail of those mobility aid grants. There is also a woman who is, again, a wheelchair user. She is living in an isolated rural part of my constituency and her children are moving on to college. She has a feeling of isolation and desperation. The option for her to move into a town such as Clonakilty, Kinsale, Bandon or Dunmanway is not there because the houses are not there.
I completely back the long-term plan and strategies for housing provision, but in the short-term period, there are instances in which people are desperate for accessible housing. I urge the Minister of State to make funding available in this budget for local authorities, before those bigger-scale developments happen, for the acquisition and adaptation of existing houses. That would take pressure off.