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Homeless Housing allocation policy must be reviewed immediately – Ó Broin

19 September, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin has criticised a government decision to end the practice of prioritising homeless and other vulnerable households in the allocation of social housing. The recommendation to halt the practice was based on the findings of a flawed, unpublished Housing Agency report. 

Under a ministerial directive, a policy was adopted to allocate 50% of social housing to homeless and other at risk households. The policy had been in place since January 2015. The directive was allowed to lapse in April this year. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The government directive ensured that, in 2015, 28% of social housing allocations in Dublin went to families and individuals dependent on emergency accommodation. This was up from just over 5% in 2013.

“Given the dramatic increase in homelessness since 2014 and the length of time many people are staying in emergency accommodation, the decision to allocate a larger number of housing units to homeless households made sense. 

“The Ministerial Decision to end this policy was taken on the basis of an unpublished Housing Agency report, which reviewed and assessed this government policy. The report did not contain any data to back up its conclusions. 

“As a result of the decision to end the Ministerial Directive, homeless households will now spend even longer in unsuitable emergency accommodation.

“The Minister and the Housing Agency must now review the decision. 

“I will be writing to the Minister asking him to review the level of allocations to homeless households and ensure than those in greatest need are not left in emergency accommodation for lengthy periods of time.” 

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