Dáil debates

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

 

12:20 pm

Photo of Noel GrealishNoel Grealish (Galway West, Independent)

That was why I asked if the Government will carry out an audit of the disability sector and see how many houses are rented and what agreements are in place with landlords. If this problem is not addressed, it will continue to cause enormous difficulties for agencies trying to secure suitable accommodation for people with disabilities.

The rental market is already in crisis and not every house is suitable to meet the needs of this group of people. As I stated previously, it is a waste of taxpayers' money to adapt properties to HIQA's standards only to have to give up the property in a few years and incur the expense of returning the property to its original state.

Will the Government look at devising a capital scheme to be introduced over the next couple of years to enable these agencies to purchase their own properties? That would ensure that the homes of the most vulnerable are protected and would result in massive savings for the taxpayer.

I am dealing with Galway County Council at the moment and I know my colleague, Deputy Rabbitte, is involved. A development is taking place in a small village. I have asked Galway County Council to work with the disability agencies to build a number of houses to suit people and, in all fairness, the council has contacted Mr. Liam Hanrahan of the Irish Wheelchair Association. A number of houses are now going to be built to facilitate people in wheelchairs. That should happen a lot more.

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