Cutbacks and red tape mean no house on the cards

Neither the HSE not Laois County Council can provide the young Connolly family in Mountmellick with the single storey house they urgently need to care for their two severely disabled sons, Ben and Jake.

Asked by the Leinster Express what support is available for families such as the Connollys, in housing, equipment, nursing or other supports, a spokesperson for the HSE said housing was not their responsibility.

“The local authority is the housing agency. HSE is not a housing agency,” said the spokesperson last Thursday.

The spokesperson said that the nursing hours would be discussed with the service persons involved and a reply would be forthcoming.

Laois County Council last year bought and adapted several bungalows for Laois people on their housing list who had disabilities, with money granted from the Department of the Environment.

However housing officer Michael Rainey said there is a “twofold problem” with doing the same for the Nicolette and Terence Connolly and their two boys, who are living in a small two storey house.

“As the family are private house owners rather than tenants, they may not qualify. The second problem is there is no funding given from the Department this year to buy houses and adapt them,” he said.

Mr Rainey added that families in private housing can apply for a disabled person’s grant to extend their house.




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