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Housing quota joy for disabled

Bahrain News
Sat, 16 Apr 2016
By Mohammed Al A’Ali


Bahrain: A five per cent disabled quota could be enforced on all new government housing projects.

The idea is to reserve a set number of homes for disabled applicants, or those who live with a disabled relative, in order to fast-track
their applications.

Members of the National Partnership Parliamentary Bloc have presented the proposal to the office of parliament chairman Ahmed Al Mulla and will be reviewed before being
voted on.

“We can’t group disabled and non-disabled applicants for government homes in the same bracket because this is unfair to families with disabled individuals,” said MP Nasser Al Qaseer, who leads the bloc.

“It is true that the date of application should be considered, but that’s in normal cases and should have nothing to do with the disabled.

“At the moment the only advantage a disabled applicant gets, after waiting an average of two decades like others, is having special facilities within the home according to their disability.

“This (disabled facilities) is good, but the wait is torture.

“We believe that five pc is an acceptable percentage and will ensure all the disabled currently on waiting lists are covered.

“The ministry can sit with us and see what can be done in future if the number of disabled housing beneficiaries is below the quota.”

Mr Al Qaseer, who is also parliament’s human rights committee chairman, said the Housing Ministry already compiles information about social housing applicants and their families, including any disabilities. 

Meanwhile, he said other measures are also needed to support people with disabilities in Bahrain.

“There is a disabled quota at the moment for employers in the private and government sectors, besides flexible working hours, but it is not enough – with more steps needed to achieve social stability for the disabled,” said Mr Al
Qaseer.

The four other MPs backing the disabled housing quota are youth committee chairman Ghazy Al Rahma, financial and economic affairs committee vice-chairman Jalal Kadhim, MP Hassan Buhassan and bloc vice-president MP
Adel Hameed.

mohammed@gdn.com.bh

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