681 disabled people on housing list

A total of 681 disabled people are currently on Cork County Council’s approved list for housing, according to figures released by the local authority.

Those with a physical disability dominate the list, with 405 approved applicants.

A breakdown of those figures shows that 168 are classified as having mental health issues; 46 with intellectual disability; and a further 62 with a sensory disability.

A report compiled by the council’s director of housing, Maurice Manning, states that the vast majority of all these successful applicants will acquire “adapted or more specialised housing”.

Mr Manning said officials are currently working on identifying the specific needs of the applicants.

He also provided a report which showed that last year the local authority managed to house 95 applicants with disabilities.

Of those provided with council housing 53 were classified as having a physical disability; 18 mental health issues; seven intellectual disability; and 17 sensory disability.

The previous year the local authority provided housing for 55 people classified as having a form of disability.

The breakdown then was 35 with physical disability; nine with mental health issues; three with intellectual disability; and eight with sensory disability.

In total the county council allocated 474 houses to eligible applicants on the waiting list last year and 387 homes in 2016.

Mr Manning said the strategy has specific targets in it to cover acquisitions of houses from developer/private sector, new builds and adaptation of vacant properties. It will also oversee grant aid for house adaptations which will be required for the majority of those with disabilities.

Mr Manning said a steering group has been put in place to monitor targets and its ongoing allocations of council houses.

Cllr Des O’Grady, who had sought the information from Mr Manning, said he had obtained figures from the Government which showed there were 382 people on the waiting list in 2016 who had some form of disability.

He said he is concerned by the increase to the current figure, of 681, because even though the council has accommodated a lot of these people it is not nearly enough.

“There is very little money coming from the Government for housing adaptation as well. I’m concerned that a lot of disabled people will languish on the waiting list,” said Cllr O’Grady.

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