Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
The Combined Disabilities Association Limited is applauding the Government for considering people with disabilities for home grants at the National Housing Trust (NHT), saying it is great news, especially for some members who are forced to live in conditions that are unsuitable for their well-being.
Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Gloria Goffe, coordinator of the association, said she would be encouraging all members to make their contribution to the trust so that they can benefit from the initiative.
In her Budget Debate presentation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced that 10 per cent of home grants would be reserved for qualified applicants with disabilities.
Stuck in a rut
"This announcement is good because quite a number of persons are living in unsuitable areas which are not good for them psychologically, but they can't do any better because they cant afford to get a home. Some have to 'cotch' (live) with relatives, as some people don't want to rent their houses to people living with disabilities because they think they are going to have problems," she lamented.
She said better housing solutions was something the association had been lobbying for and she believed their efforts had paid off.
Goffe added that people with disabilities were finding it difficult to acquire houses through the trust based on the minuscule salaries they receive.
"The regular NHT programme would accommodate five per cent of the persons who are living with disability, but because of the cost and low salary of the majority, most of them are unable to apply for these lots," she said.
Goffe added: "Those persons who can apply for the grant would find it very difficult to access a house through the regular programme. Now it will be easier for them."
More than 200,000 Jamaicans, including children, are living with disabilities.