A Derry mother is preparing to spend her seventh Christmas in what she describes as “unsuitable accommodation” because of a shortage of bungalows.
Ciara Quinn, who has a child with special needs, said she has been forced to sleep downstairs in her home because of her son’s condition.
The mother, who also has two other children, said she is now hopeful of being allocated a bungalow in the new development at Bradley’s Pass but said it could be up to a year until it is ready.
“My son has autism and attention deficit disorder and needs to sleep downstairs which means that I do too so I can be near him. The other children are upstairs so it is far from ideal. Having to go up and down to the bathroom also presents problems.
“I have been waiting for a bungalow for seven years and have had support from everyone but the problem is the shortage of bungalows. More need to be built to cope with people with disabilities and people getting older,” she said.
Sinn Féin councillor Tony Hassan echoed her call for more bungalows.
“The Housing figures across Derry show that there is a need for bungalow-type accommodation for the older members of our community and for people with disabilities.
“If you need bungalow-type accommodation on health grounds or if you are disabled you have to be referred to the Housing Executive by an occupational therapist, and then a Housing Association will build a bungalow-type accommodation for your medical needs.
“I have a number of people who are awaiting bungalow-type accommodation because of age and health, some of these people are waiting for years for a bungalow. One of my clients will spend her sixth Christmas living in accommodation that does not meet her and her child’s needs.”
Colr. Hassan also said he welcomed indications that the development at Bradley’s Pass is likely to get planning approval next week and called for work to begin at the site as soon as possible.