- Strategy clearly sets out Government’s vision for the delivery of housing and related support services for disabled people over the next five years
- New strategy places a greater emphasis on facilitating independent living and being included in the community
Friday 14 January 2021 – Strictly embargoed until 9am
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD; the Minister of State for Planning and Local Government, Peter Burke TD; and Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, today (Friday 14 January 2022) launched the National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 - 2027. The Strategy sets out the Government’s vision for delivering housing and related supports for disabled people and has been developed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Department of Health and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. It replaces the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability 2011 – 2016 (extended to 2021).
The new strategy places a greater emphasis on independent living and community inclusion than the previous strategy. Implementation of the plan will be based on the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Government has revised the structures that oversee and implement the strategy to make the delivery of housing and related supports for disabled people more effective and appropriate to their needs.
Developed under the guiding principles of Housing for All, the Government’s national plan for housing to 2030, the strategy seeks to facilitate disabled people to live independently with the appropriate choices and control over where, how and with whom they live. The Strategy places an emphasis on disabled people having choice and control over their living arrangements. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing equal access to housing for all.
Providing more equal access to housing for disabled people with integrated support services promotes their inclusion in the community, fulfilling a key Housing for All commitment. A key element is a focus on co-ordinating provision of housing for disabled people with the social supports provided through HSE-funded disability services.
The National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027 is the result of a comprehensive 8-month, two phase consultation process and is laid out across six themes, each detailing desired outcomes to deliver the overall vision set out in the plan:
1 – Accessible Housing and Communities
2 – Interagency Collaboration and the Provision of Supports
3 – Affordability of Housing
4 – Communication and Access to Information
5 – Knowledge, Capacity, and Expertise
6 – Strategy Alignment
Work has now begun on the very important Implementation Plan for the Strategy. The Housing Agency will oversee this work. The Implementation Plan will be published by the end of quarter 2, 2022 detailing how outcomes will be achieved.
Commenting, Minister O’Brien said:
“This new National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022-2027 sets out our joint vision for the delivery of housing and support services for the next five years. The overall aim of the overarching Housing for All plan is that everyone in the State should have access to a home to purchase or rent at an affordable price, built to a high standard and in the right place, offering a high quality of life. This strategy underlines the Government’s vision.
“Importantly, Housing and Disability Steering Groups’ will continue to have a key role as the forum for delivery of the strategy’s outcomes at local level. These Steering Groups have been established in each local authority area and this Strategy maps out the pathway for them to refresh and renew their role and focus with disabled people at the centre. I have no doubt this will lead to a more integrated and strategic response to the needs of people with a disability at local level.”
“I look forward to working collaboratively with my Government colleagues and delivery partners across the sector in making the vision of this Strategy a reality.”
Also commenting on the Strategy, Minister Burke stated:
“The preparation of this new National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022-2027 has been led by the lived experience of people with a disability and those supporting them. Drawing on the knowledge and insight of individuals who experience disability, their representative groups and those who work to provide services, the strategy contains a vision to bring about practical and lasting change. I hope that this change will make a compelling difference to housing and accommodation provision for people with a disability across our country.
“I want to acknowledge the key role that local authorities have played. As housing authorities, their role is pivotal in ensuring that the Strategy is implemented at local level where it matters most for the citizen.
“Our goal is for Ireland to be a better place for disabled people to live in, to access the right kind of housing or accommodation, a place where those with a disability have choices and play a central role in relation to matters and decisions that affect their lives. It should be a country where every disabled person is supported to live independently, participate fully in our society, and enjoy a quality of life on a par with the rest of the population. This Strategy sets our course for housing to play its part in achieving that.”
Welcoming the Strategy, Minister Rabbitte said:
“I warmly welcome the publication of the new National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022-2027. This Government’s philosophy is ‘Housing for All’, which means that our housing provision must be inclusive of people with disabilities. I am particularly pleased to see the important emphasis on Universal Design in this Strategy.
“I am delighted that this Strategy has very much been informed by the input of disabled people who took part in the public consultation process, and I want to thank the Housing Agency for facilitating their involvement.
“A central tenet of this Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities is to coordinate and align housing provision with the delivery of health and social care supports. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government, and with the HSE to drive forward the practical implementation of this approach.
“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a key framework for how we support disabled people in Ireland and is central to how government has approached this Strategy. I believe this Strategy helps progress our commitment under the UNCRPD to facilitate disabled people to live independently and as part of the community.”
The National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027 can be viewed on https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/60d76-national-housing-strategy-for-disabled-people-2022-2027/ from 9 am today (Friday January 14th)
Notes to Editor:
- The Strategy is being launched by Ministers O’Brien, Burke and Rabbitte at a meeting with stakeholders, hosted by the Housing Agency, on Friday January 14th.
- For interview requests with the three Ministers and Disability stakeholders with lived experience please contact the Dept of Housing, Local Government and Heritage press office for details.
- For technical briefing on Strategy with Department officials please contact the press office.
- The National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027 is being published by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH) with the Department of Health (DoH) and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY). The strategy can be found from 9 am on 14 January at https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/60d76-national-housing-strategy-for-disabled-people-2022-2027/
- The National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027 uses the term “disability” in reference to four categories of disability, i.e., sensory disability, mental health difficulties, physical disability and intellectual disability. Psychosocial disabilities are also included when referring to mental health difficulties as this is in line with the social model of language.
- During the first year of the new Strategy, the process of working to strengthen the existing information of the housing needs within each category will commence. This will allow for the proper strategic planning that is required to increase delivery of housing with related supports for disabled people. This will also be inclusive of disabled people that do not identify with one of the specific categories above, such as those with a dual diagnosis or Autism.
A comprehensive eight-month consultation period identified the areas that needed to be addressed to deliver the vision of the Strategy. These areas are set out as themes. Each theme has desired outcomes that, when delivered, will contribute to the overall vision.
Theme 1 – Accessible Housing and Communities
This theme focuses on the provision of accessible housing for disabled people, the promotion of accessible communities and universally designed homes. It is informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and, in particular, “Article 19 - Living independently and being included in the community” and “Article 9 – Accessibility” which aims “to enable disabled people to live independently …and ensure disabled people have access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment.”
Theme 2 – Interagency Collaboration and the Provision of Supports
This theme includes outcomes relating to the improvement of effective collaboration between local authorities and the HSE, better inter-departmental cooperation, aligning housing and support services and the sharing of relevant information between agencies. This theme seeks to build on the work that has already been done during the NHSPWD 2011 to 2016 (extended to 2021) by strengthening the existing structures and by improving collaboration between all relevant agencies.
Theme 3 – Affordability of Housing
This theme focuses on enabling access to affordable housing for disabled people. In keeping with Housing for All and, in particular, “Pathway 1 - Supporting Home Ownership and Increasing Affordability”, it is important that disabled people are included in the provision of affordable housing. This theme examines these issues and addresses the challenges disabled people may experience living in the private sector, in terms of home ownership and private renting.
Theme 4 – Communication and Access to Information
This theme focuses on communication and access to information. The Strategy will continue to build on the information accessibility achievements of the previous Strategy such as the Housing Options documents, the Easy-to-Read Guide to Completing the Social Housing Application Form and the Moving in Checklist. The Strategy is cognisant of the fact that communication is a two-way process. The Strategy will aim to ensure that disabled people are not disadvantaged in communicating their needs and in the communication they receive. This includes providing information in a range of accessible formats and using the various channels of communications disabled people prefer, while ensuring that adequate time and accessibility is made available to enable people to engage with local authorities and relevant agencies.
Theme 5 - Knowledge, Capacity, and Expertise
This theme puts forward measures to increase awareness and understanding of disability and housing within the relevant organisations 4. It also places an emphasis on increasing awareness regarding disabled people’s effective participation and inclusion in their communities. It includes outcomes relating to the building of knowledge and expertise within the housing sector on disability and building of knowledge and expertise within the health and social care sector on housing. It also acknowledges areas where cross-agency training is necessary, for example, the introduction and application of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015.5
Theme 6 – Strategy Alignment
This theme places a focus on ensuring that all Government strategies and policies from a housing perspective promote the rights of disabled people, in line with the UNCRPD. This will ensure that the new National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027 complements and supports other strategies related to disability, such as the ‘Sharing the Vision’ and the ‘Time to Move on From Congregated Settings Strategy’ for de-congregation, and the work, in line with the Programme for Government commitment, to make progress on the need for housing with relevant supports identified in the Disability Capacity Review to 2032. This theme will also place a focus on aligning other strategies and policies, such as Housing for All, and the new Local Delivery Action Plans established under its framework, and the Public Sector Duty.