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Government’s action plan falls well short of addressing the needs of the families – Ellis

21 July, 2016 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin TD and junior Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis spoke in the Dáil last night and addressed the launch of the government’s action plan which he said falls well short of addressing the needs of the families that are affected most by the housing crisis.

The Dublin North West TD said:

“There will be no solution to the housing crisis without a social aspect; there will be no solution without state intervention. The action plan for housing and homelessness launched yesterday is a case in point. There are some good points but the plan is very conservative in its outlook and where time is taken to expand on plans they do not add up or are vague or misleading.

“There are a number of great initiatives in the action plan for  supports for families with children in emergency accommodation  such as dedicated child support workers; home school community liaison; access to free public transport for school journeys and joined up supports between education, health and TULSA for homeless families among others. These are important interventions to safeguard families in emergency accommodation but it is not clear how this will be funded, will the relevant departments and bodies be expected to source this funding from their own budgets or will it be provided from somewhere else. You know as well as I do that funding will be the difference here.

“The plan also allows for streamlining planning processes for larger private housing developments. The proposal is for developments with over 100 houses are referred straight to an Bord Pleanála, bypassing the local council process which was valuable for community input. Given that big developments will have the biggest impact on a local community, removing the local consultation part of the planning process would be a retrograde step.  Part of the local accountability in planning comes after pre-planning consultations at local level and often will enhance or community proof big developments.

“Something has to be done as in the month of June once again our homeless families’ numbers have increased; at the end of the month we had 1078 families homeless that includes 2206 children. This problem is getting worse by the week and this government is not dealing with the issues and the plan launched yesterday is not going to solve this problem in the short, medium or long term.” 

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