THE Government needs to take urgent action to address new figures which reveal at least 1,096 people with disabilities are on social housing waiting lists in Galway City, according to one of the country’s largest charities.
Rehab, Ireland’s largest independent charity for people with disabilities, says the Government is failing people with disabilities by not providing them with their basic human rights.
Access to appropriate social housing remains a major stumbling block for people with disabilities. A lack of availability and choice makes housing a significant issue for the 600,000 people with disabilities living in our communities.
Furthermore, more than 3,000 people with disabilities are still living in institutions. This figure does not include the 1,200 people under 65, most of whom have disabilities, inappropriately placed in nursing homes.
Ireland is the only country in Europe which has still failed to ratify this vital international agreement, which would afford people with disabilities the same basic human rights as everyone else.
Article 19 of the UNCRPD specifically provides for people with disabilities to live independently in their communities.
Kathleen O’Meara, Rehab’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs said: “Ireland really needs to get to grips with how we support people with disabilities to live in their own homes.
“These figures show the Government is failing our most vulnerable members of society. The right to a home is a critical human right outlined in the UNCRPD.
“If the convention was ratified, the Government would have to be accountable. These worrying figures show that people with disabilities continue to be treated like second class citizens. The reality is that people with disabilities remain invisible when it comes to policy and service provision,” Ms O’Meara added.
■ For more on this story, see the print edition of the Galway City Tribune.