SDLP: Ramsey calls for fair housing allocation for those with disabilities

Please find attached a picture of today's meeting.'Pictured (Left to right) are Pat Ramsey MLA, Orla McCann (Disability Action) and Minister Mervyn Storey MLA.
Please find attached a picture of today's meeting.'Pictured (Left to right) are Pat Ramsey MLA, Orla McCann (Disability Action) and Minister Mervyn Storey MLA.

SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has called for better and fairer distribution of social housing stock for those with a disability.

Mr Ramsey met with Minister for Social Development, Mervyn Storey, on Monday to draw the Ministers attention to the fact that housing allocation does not always match specific needs such as disability.

Mr Ramsey said: “Today I asked the Minister for an immediate review of the housing stock available to him and to define the need levels of those on waiting lists. I am pleased that the Minister has agreed to provide this information and that there are genuine cases being failed by the current points system. It is my experience that these genuine cases can spend a long time on the waiting lists.

“The Minister, to his credit, was eager to ensure that homes already adapted to assist independent living are being utilised by those who require such adaptions.

Mr. Ramsey was accompanied by Orla McCann of Disability Action who suggested that the level of need was far greater than is currently being acknowledged.

He continued: “The level of bungalow provision has lagged behind an already insufficient new build program. I wanted to highlight to the Minister that we are creating a larger issue which, due to our aging population, will only return to haunt us in the near future.

“It is imperative that new build schemes are tailored to meet the demand which already exists. In order to do this we must know both what type of homes are in the NIHE and housing association stock and in particular are those types of accommodation best suited to those living there.”