Australia’s disability shame: why do we treat these people like second class citizens?

New details have emerged showing just how hard some of Australia’s most vulnerable people are living. A report on the
Health

New details have emerged showing just how hard some of Australia’s most vulnerable people are living.

A report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has revealed at least 45,000 people with disabilities are living in poor housing conditions, raging from nursing homes, to living with aging parents, and in some cases homelessness.

One of the key aims of the NDIS is to provide recipients with housing and independent living. However, the report shows the majority of people on the scheme are not receiving housing support, while 110,000 people – around 40 per cent – are missing out completely on the help they so desperately need.

These people are left to cope with their disability in less than ideal conditions that would not be tolerated in many other developed nations.

There are around 4 million people with a disability in Australia and many of them rely on benefits like the NDIS to help fund their basic lifestyle needs.

The benefits scheme is one many Australian taxpayers are happy to get behind as it helps some of our most vulnerable citizens. That’s why the revelations about the scheme’s poor housing standards were met with shock and anger by people around the country.

Speaking about the housing issue, Chairman of the Disability Housing Futures Working Group and the former boss of Housing NSW Mike Allen said the situation was “unacceptable”.

“We think there’s a gap in the vicinity of around 45,000 people,” he told the ABC.

Mr Allen said around 5,000 people with disabilities are living on the streets, while others are struggling in group homes and private rentals that don’t have the facilities they need.

“They’re in housing stress and they’re struggling in unacceptable housing situations,” Mr Allen said.

The revelations have left many people asking why more isn’t being done to address the issue. In a list detailing the top 10 countries to live if you have a disability, Australia failed to make the cut. Even the United State, which is known for its poor health system, made it onto the list.

So why aren’t we doing more to combat this issue and ensure disabled Australians are given the support they need? While many people acknowledge there is an issue, some are hesitant to call for more taxpayer funding to deal with the issue.

Instead, they say it is a government issue that should be handled through the budget rather than taking more money from other Australians.

What’s your opinion on this issue?

Is it the governments responsibility to resolve this issue? Where you surprised so many disabled people are living rough?

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