Inclusion Ireland submission for the Statement of Strategy 2023 – 2025 from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

We are pleased to put in our submission for the Statement of Strategy 2023-2025 from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Strategy Statement serves as a framework for the department’s work, structured around the department’s mission and six strategic goals. It provides information on how progress in achieving those goals will be monitored, by identifying measurable outputs, outcomes and performance indicators. You can read more about it here

The housing crisis faced by disabled people in Ireland needs an ambitious strategy. People with intellectual disabilities and their families have waited too long.

Every day at Inclusion Ireland we hear the stories of the impact on people’s lives. Carers are fearful about who will support their loved ones when they die. People with intellectual disabilities are stuck living in situations that are unsuitable, inappropriate and a denial of their basic human rights.

The Statement of Strategy for the period 2023 to 2025 has to address these diverse needs through a multi-faceted approach. If the compelling recommendations of the Disability Capacity Review are not implemented in the short term, this lack of action will result in an increase in the provision of emergency responses that fall far short of our obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

For the period 2023-2025, the Statement of Strategy needs to focus on accelerating the implementation of the Disability Capacity Review and act on the following areas:

  • Making adequate investments (410 million euros recommended for Budget 2023) to meet the housing needs as specified in the Disability Capacity Review. This will ensure that people living at home with their families can move into a home of their own, with whatever support they need to do so. This has to include people who may need minimal support to live in a home of their own to people who need around-the-clock or intensive support to live independently. No one can be left out of this plan based on their support needs.
  • Increased investment should be made during the next 5 years to ensure that people inadequately placed in congregated settings and nursing homes can all be supported to move out. Specific action plans need to be in place to accelerate both the congregation and the move of people inappropriately placed in nursing homes. To deliver on this objective, a comprehensive and creative workforce planning strategy needs to be urgently implemented.
  • More clarity is needed around the number of people moving from congregated settings and nursing homes into the community every year. Clarity is also needed on the part of the budget allocated to this goal along with the exact number of people with an intellectual disability on the Housing List.

Service providers are currently lurching from crisis to crisis with little scope to properly plan with people around the most critical aspect of many of our lives; a home to call our own. The right to a home, in a community of our choice is something many people take for granted but is a distant dream for too many people with intellectual disabilities. This strategy needs to acknowledge this and set out ambitious steps which will reassure people with intellectual disabilities and their families that the Government is responsive to their most fundamental needs.

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