THE Government needs to take urgent action to deal with the fact that at least 337 people with disabilities are on waiting lists for social housing in Limerick, 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.
According to the charity, access to appropriate social housing remains a major stumbling block for people with disabilities. They also say that 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 3000 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.
“The Government’s delay in taking responsibility for funding of appropriate housing, demonstrates a complete lack of priority for people with disabilities.”
Rehab, which supports over 20,000 people, has now reiterated its call for the Government to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
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.
“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,” said Rehab’s director of Communications, Kathleen O’Meara.
“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,” she concluded.
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