Thursday, 16 September 2021
Ábhair Shaincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Matters
There is a commitment of €4 billion in multi-annual budgets in our national development plan, which was not there before and is backed up by the Housing Finance Agency and the Land Development Agency. That will be key to unlocking many of these developments to which the Deputy referred. I assure him the grant mechanisms will be supported to ensure local authorities have the resources to discharge their duties. I am also progressing with our new disability strategy, which had almost 1,600 submissions, of which 28% were from people with disabilities and lived experiences, which are so important. As the Deputy quite rightly referenced, we have a huge amount to do in terms of right sizing and giving people opportunities to live in homes that are suitable to meet their needs, especially the most vulnerable in our society. We now have the housing needs and demands assessment tool in the Department, which will assist local authorities in identifying the need they must supply into their functional area.
Obviously, it is disappointing to see that there is no future-proofing in a 50-unit housing estate. If the Deputy wants to bring the details of that estate to my attention, I will have that investigated, because it is important the signal goes out from the Department that you need to future-proof developments and the vulnerable must be protected. When housing allocations are appointed to tenancies, policies are in place for the quota that should be allocated for those with disabilities and the most vulnerable. We would be keen to follow up on that, if the Deputy wants to forward the details to me.
I assure people we will shortly have the strategy from 2022-2026. We have done a huge amount of engagement on it. The money is there and we want to ensure people can live in their homes longer and that the most vulnerable are protected.