CRPD welcomes revised Housing Authority Disability Scheme

Photo by Belinda Fewings

The Housing Authority’s Disability Scheme has been revised with the aim to better address the needs of persons with disabilities. The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) said that it is pleased to collaborate with the Housing Authority to help improve the lives of disabled persons in Malta.

The Commission explained that the scheme is the first in a series of revisions of policies which is being carried out by the Housing Authority as part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Authority and the Commission for the Rights of Persons with a Disability (CRPD) last year.

Apart from the revision of policies, the Memorandum of Understanding states that CRPD will also provide disability equality training to staff members of the Housing Authority on an annual basis.

Amendments to the Disability Scheme

The amendments include the increase in the assistance from €5,000 to €7,000 on lifts in private blocks of apartments where there is a person with disability.

In private houses, the maximum grant for a lift installation in a private house has increased to €20,000 from€15,000.

Other measures relate to the elimination of the clause which stated that the value of the property in respect of which the application is made should not exceed €250,000. The limit of the applicants’ capital assets has also been raised from €30,000 to €150,000.

The income of the applicants together with the eligibility of the grant has also been amended, with the 100 per cent assistance threshold raised from €15,000 to €25,000.

CRPD Commissioner Oliver Scicluna said that apart from the MOU, the CRPD also reviews all the applications submitted to the Planning Authority in order to vet their accessibility.

The developer is required to obtain a certificate from CRPD stating that the plans are compliant before the Planning Authority issues a compliance certificate to allow for water and electricity to be connected to the development.

CRPD also provides a weekly consultation service at the Planning Authority offices, where a CRPD technical expert provides advice regarding physical access to those who are in the process of submitting development applications.