The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA ) recently launched a new housing initiative to promote the benefits and importance of registering for accessible, affordable, and social housing. The campaign, known as Operation Sign Up, was initiated in light of the triennial housing needs assessment which all town and county councils have been requested to carry out by the Department of Environment in March. Historically, the housing requirements of people with disabilities have been underrepresented, according to the IWA, who feel the results of the triennial housing needs assessment have not demonstrated the real demand for social housing amongst people with disabilities.
Operation Sign Up aims to encourage as many individuals as possible to register their need for accessible, affordable and appropriate accommodation with their local council. The IWA housing initiative includes a new housing website www.iwa.ie/house which provides a step-by-step guide to applying for social housing. IWA has broken down the ten steps involved in the application process and has also listed all other relevant information an individual will require during the application process, such as contact details for local councils, information links to local health centres and tax offices, and also details of all local IWA centres.
While acknowledging the work that town and county councils have done in the past to address the housing needs of individuals already registered on their lists, the IWA feel the demand for affordable and accessible homes has significantly risen over the past three years. “The number of people with disabilities currently on council housing lists does not reflect the true demand for accessible, affordable homes. The curtailed fiscal climate has meant that fewer people can afford to purchase their own homes. Organisations such as IWA have a responsibility to address the needs of their members, and we are urging our members and other people with disabilities to log on to www.iwa.ie/house to learn more about the housing options that are available to them,” explained the IWA this week.
A number of housing information events will take place nationwide during the coming weeks. The first of these events was held on March 30 in Belmullet Civic Centre Offices.