Housing for people with a disability: time for a new roof
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Housing for people with a disability: time for a new roof. Housing for people with a disability: time for a new roof Simon Brooke Head of Policy Clúid Housing Association. Clúid Housing Association. 18 years old Owns or manages nearly 5000 rented homes across the country

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Housing for people with a disability:

time for a new roof

Simon Brooke

Head of Policy

Clúid Housing Association


Clúid Housing Association

  • 18 years old

  • Owns or manages nearly 5000 rented homes across the country

  • Mainly ‘general needs’ housing - also nearly 500 units of sheltered housing for the elderly and some housing for people with disabilities


Social housing

  • Social housing is rented housing provided for people who cannot afford to buy, or to pay private rented sector rents

  • Social housing is subsidised by the state

  • Social housing is allocated by housing need

  • Social housing tenants pay an affordable rent – the differential rent system

  • In Ireland most social housing is provided by local authorities but housing associations are playing a growing role


What are housing associations?

  • Providers of social housing

  • Independent organisations with voluntary board of management

  • Confusing labels: ‘Housing associations’ = ‘voluntary housing sector’ = ‘approved housing bodies’

  • Funded by rent from tenants and subsidy from government


Housing options for people with a disability

  • Owner occupation is expensive

  • Private rented housing: limited security of tenure, some poor conditions

  • Rental Accommodation Scheme may an option for some

  • Social housing is likely to be the best option for many


‘Time to Move on from Congregated Settings’

  • Very impressive report

  • Overwhelming evidence that independent living in the community is better than institutional care

  • Better quality of life

  • Better value for money

  • In line with thinking and practice in other areas e.g. older people, homeless people

  • But does it go far enough?


Some housing principles

  • There should be a legal right to housing

  • Housing is a necessity, and for some people support is a necessity too

  • There should be an explicit presumption that everyone, whether or not they have a disability, can live independently, with support if needed, unless they are not able to.


Some housing principles

  • Provision of housing should be separate from provision of support

    • Landlord/tenant relationship is different from support relationship

    • Allows for flexibility or ending of support

  • The ‘Housing First’ approach works

    • People don’t need to be ‘housing ready’ before they move into a home of their own

  • ‘House’ and ‘home’ are two different things


Social housing challenges

  • Housing Policy Statement 2011:

    • New role for housing associations

  • New financial arrangements for housing associations

    • Private finance instead of grants

    • Will take time to become established

  • NAMA

    • 120,000 empty houses – so what’s the problem?


  • Social housing challenges

    • Will need special programme for people in congregated settings

      • Assessment of housing need

  • Housing 500 people a year for 7 years will be a challenge

  • If the will is there, it can be done!



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