The National Housing Strategy for people with a Disability (NHSPWD) 2011-2016 and associated National Implementation Framework were jointly published by my Department and the Department of Health. Building on the Programme for a Partnership Government commitment to meet the housing needs of people with disabilities, the NHSPWD has been extended to 2020 under Rebuilding Ireland to continue to deliver on its aims.
The National Guidelines for the Assessment and Allocation Process for Social Housing Provision for People with a Disability were revised in 2017. The Guidelines set out the categories of disability, including autism, which local authorities should recognise where there is a specific housing need arising from the disability when households make application for a social housing assessment. The Guidelines also refer to the National Disability Authority Guidance for local authority housing officers on how to work with people with autism making an application for social housing or for a housing adaptation grant under the Programme for Autism Actions.
Applications for an assessment of housing need for people with disabilities are made to individual local authorities. These applications are assessed in accordance with the relevant allocation scheme made under section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated Regulations. This legislation requires all local authorities, as a reserved function, to make an allocation scheme determining the order of priority to be accorded in the allocation of dwellings to households qualified for social housing support.
As the NHSPWD was reaffirmed under Rebuilding Ireland up to 2020, both my Department and the Department of Health are currently in discussions about the next Housing Strategy for People with Disabilities post 2020. Development of a new strategy will include extensive consultation with all stakeholders.