Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2919)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

2919. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the estimated cost of restoring housing adaptation grants to 2010 levels and committing to a minimum of 7.5% of all social housing in 2020 to persons with a disability on housing waiting lists in budget 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33390/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The funding provided for the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Scheme, to support people living in private houses, has increased year on year since 2014. Compared to a funding level of €43 million in 2013, the funding provided reached €71.25 million nationally in 2019, an increase of some 8% on 2018. An additional €28.4 million would be required to restore the funding to 2010 levels.

Both the assessment of social housing needs and social housing allocations to any particular group of social housing applicants are matters for individual local authorities. Assigning 7.5% of social housing delivery in 2020 to persons with a disability on housing waiting lists would involve according greater priority to such persons over other social housing applicants, rather than adding significantly to costs.

The appropriate approach to progressing this matter is within the framework of the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability, under which Housing and Disability Steering Groups have been established in all local authority areas, to achieve a coordinated and integrated approach to meeting the housing needs of people with a disability at local level. These Groups are chaired by Directors of Housing in each authority and include HSE and disability representative organisations. Each Group has prepared a local Strategic Plan for its own City/County area, to develop specific local strategies to meet identified and emerging need over the next five years.

The Plans, along with the annual Summary of Social Housing Assessments, allow local authorities to plan more strategically for the housing needs of people with a disability and support the delivery of accommodation using all appropriate housing supply mechanisms. This is a more targeted and responsive way to meet actual need identified, rather than designating a specific percentage or number of new social housing delivery for people with a disability, although some authorities may choose to allocate a percentage if they choose to so do.