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Friday, 22nd September 2023

Wheelchair Association highlights shortage of accessible housing in Louth

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IWA member Glenn Quinn who featured in the Irish Wheelchair Association's Home Truths campaign.

Irish Wheelchair Association appeals for people with disabilities who need housing to apply to their local authority.

The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) has launched a new awareness campaign exposing the barriers people with disabilities face in their search for wheelchair accessible housing in Louth and across Ireland.

The campaign, ‘Home Truths: Because everyone deserves a place to call home’, highlights the experience of people with disabilities in the housing market and the absence of wheelchair liveable housing across the country.   

Five IWA members have shared their own personal home truths in a series of videos which lay bare the harsh and poignant challenges they face. For Glenn Quinn (61), that means the indignity of having to crawl up the stairs to get to bed.

Glenn and other members featured across national news airwaves and TV in recent days sharing their stories and calling on the government for more action. See their videos here www.iwa.ie 

Supported under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) Grant Scheme the project was officially launched by Anne Rabbitte, Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, in Dublin this week. 

The Home Truths campaign is about giving a platform to people with disabilities to raise their housing issues, according to IWA National Housing Programme Manager, Jean Coleman. “The participants all tell a different story, and they reflect what our membership is experiencing throughout the country including Louth. 

“Their stories highlight the need for more wheelchair liveable housing, the inadequacies of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), and the need for local authorities and the HSE to work more closely together to ensure that there is a personal assistant service in place in tandem with a person being allocated a house,” she said.

"The housing crisis in Ireland has been well documented but our campaign, shows that for people with disabilities it is a crisis within a crisis and particularly if you are a wheelchair user." 

 

Home Truths by Irish Wheelchair Association - Meet Glenn Quinn from Irish Wheelchair Association on Vimeo.

Thanking the Irish Wheelchair Association members who shared their stories, Minister Rabbitte, said that it is important that the lived experience of people with disabilities are heard to help shape national policy, and reinforced the Government’s commitment to facilitate people with disabilities to live independently, as reflected in the National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2002-2027.  

“We want to deliver improved housing and related supports. This strategy makes sure that disabled people are at the centre of decision making when it comes to housing, giving them more choice, and control over where, how and who they live with, and promoting their inclusion in the community,” she said.  

Tony Cunningham, National Director of IWA Services said.  “People with physical disabilities who want to live independently but cannot find wheelchair liveable housing cannot continue to be caught in an endless housing crisis, and forced to live in unsuitable, inaccessible housing.

“But local authorities can only plan housing developments for the people on their lists. If you haven't applied for housing the local authority cannot support you. Irish Wheelchair Association is appealing to our members, if you are worried about where you will live in the future, apply to your local authority now."

For more details www.iwa.ie 

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