Inclusion Ireland’s Budget Submission 2024 Calls for Housing Challenges for People with Intellectual Disabilities to be Addressed.

Wednesday 16th of August 2023

As we enter the planning phase for Budget 2024, it is important to reflect on the real-world issues facing people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

In putting together Inclusion Ireland’s Budget Submission for 2024 we consulted with people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Housing was one of the main concerns for people who completed our survey. Our survey found that:

  • 72% of people with intellectual disabilities said that they were living with their family and 40% of these individuals wanted to move out.
  • 51% of respondents who support people with intellectual disabilities said that the person was living with a family member, with 15% of respondents living with a parent over the age of 70.
  • Only about a third of people who said they wanted to move house were actually on a housing waiting list. Nearly half of those on the housing list had been on it for more than 5 years including nearly 20% of people who are waiting over 10 years.
  • Respondents who support people with intellectual disabilities were asked to identify the main barriers to housing and independent living. Our respondents pointed to a lack of:
    • 41.5% support package/services.
    • 11.5% funding for Personal Assistant hours.

Article 19 of the UNCRPD reaffirms the right of people with disabilities to live independently, to be included in the community with the supports needed to live a good life.

Around 3500 people are still living in congregated/institutional settings (2,279 according to HIQA Annual Report 2022) or unsuitably placed in nursing homes (300 according to the Wasted Lives Report) while thousands of others are living with families, including older family carers, and have been waiting for many years to move into a home of their own.Beyond the numbers, much of the current model of service provision is outdated and disempowers people with intellectual disabilities. “Services” need to be deeply transformed to better allow the allocation of funds to beneficiaries and their advocates/ families through personal budgets and creative community-based models of support.

There is a need for a transition from “service provision” where the disabled person passively “receives” a service towards a person led approach in the way in services are designed, provided, and monitored.

We call for a fully costed and funded plan to support the remaining residents from congregated settings and inappropriately placed in nursing homes into community settings over a five-year period.

This plan would include:

  • A number of places for services available:
    • 450 residential places for people coming from congregated settings
    • 300 places for people moving out from nursing homes
    • 90 new supported living packages to match demographic changes
    • 20% increase from current levels of provision of personal assistance hours and home support
  • An increase in the number of personalised budget arrangements allocated so that people can continue to live in their own homes and/or with family members leading self-directed lives outside of “traditional/residential” arrangements.
  • Ensure the training of all staff working with disabled people in services around the UNCRPD and a rights based, inclusive and community first approach.
  • Fund organisations which have a track record of delivery on community and rights-based approaches.
  • Capacity building/training and support must be made available to individuals who require it to support their independent living. This should include managing a home budget, home maintenance, community inclusion, using transport, etc. Funds should be made available to provide this practical support.
  • Review the criteria to grant access to personal assistance hours. Personal assistance should be based on needs, not diagnosis.

“A disabled person should be able to access supports to live independently regardless of their level of impairment or support need once they reach the top of the housing list. The new housing strategy for disabled people has to ensure equity of access to housing, no matter what level of support a person needs, otherwise the strategy is potentially discriminatory.”

Derval McDonagh, CEO, Inclusion Ireland

You  will find Inclusion Ireland’s full Budget Submission for 2024 on our website here:

For further information contact Caoimhe Suipéil, Communications Officer, Inclusion Ireland at 086-2265813 or 

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