Saturday 21 July 2018

'I am looking for a home that's suitable for my disabled son and I'm up against young professionals, €5 does nothing for me'

Tracy McGinnis faced homelessness due to the crisis and has been searching for a private rented home suitable for her son.

Mother-of-two Tracy McGinnis (51) said the changes required to help disabled people with housing and financial assistance did not come
Mother-of-two Tracy McGinnis (51) said the changes required to help disabled people with housing and financial assistance did not come
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A MOTHER who is a full-time carer to her 13-year-old disabled son fears she will still not be able to find a suitable home because of a lack of action on social housing.

Mother-of-two Tracy McGinnis (51) said the changes required to help disabled people with housing and financial assistance did not come.

Ms McGinnis has been looking for a new rented home for months in Co Kildare and Co Kilkenny, having faced homelessness due to the housing crisis.

Her son Brendan needs an adapted home with a wet room where he can be lifted by a hoist to the shower.

She has had problems getting anywhere to live on the Housing Assistance Payment scheme introduced by the Government to help people pay increasingly high rents.

"The HAP scheme isn't working," Ms McGinnis said.

"Most landlords won't accept it and as a carer to a disabled person, in this housing crisis, it's almost impossible to find a good quality rental home.

"The demand is too high - you are up against young professionals and I am looking for a home that's suitable for my disabled son."

Ms McGinnis said she was unsurprised by the lack of action.

Carer's allowance has increased by €5 per week, while the Home Carer tax credit will rise from €1,100 to €1,200.

"As a full-time carer I've been relegated to the social welfare - €5 per week is doing nothing for me as I'm trying to buy a new house," she said.

"I would have been disappointed with the Budget if I had expected better."

She said that with no suitable private-owned homes available, the State should be building more social houses and also buying private homes off the market to convert.

The Government plans to build 3,800 social houses next year.

"I don't think there should be one disabled child on a waiting list in Ireland.

"There are disabled children living in emergency accommodation and that is shameful.

"The house we are currently living in is in disrepair.

"Carers are saving the State millions of euro by looking after children with disabilities, but we need help to be able to carry out this very important role.

"Children like my son deserve dignity."

Irish Independent

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