The case of a Waterford family unable to buy their house because they draw the blind pension has been described as “shameful”.
Jenny and her husband Damien Vereker (pictured above left from last year’s Paralympics), have had their mortgage application rejected as blind pensions are not accepted.
This is despite the family having more than two decades of up-to-date rental payments using those very pensions.
Under guidelines various welfare payments are not eligible for mortgage applications, including the blind pension.
Ms Vereker told WLR that she, her husband and their daughter Alannah can well afford the mortgage.
“The guidelines are you have to have €15,000 income, which we meet with our pensions. And also, Alannah meets it on her own without our income added together, she meets that €15,000. So there’s an income of over €30,000 coming into the house but we still can’t bite,” she said.
Sinn Féin Councillor John Hearne says the law must change to accommodate people in their position:
“They’ve excelled in college, they both have degrees. They’ve excelled in sports, Damien represents Ireland, but yet Ireland won’t give him a chance to own his own house. He only wants to own a house – he doesn’t want to change the world. We should facilitate people who’ve gone to every extreme, through college, through sport [and are] very valued in their communities. It’s shameful [and] it should be changed.”