Homeless people need actions, not re-announcements - Eoin Ó Broin
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on Minister Coveney’s re-announcement of pillar one of the government’s Action Plan for Housing.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The majority of the measures announced today were already announced in July, such as the provision of rapid build units and the expansion of the HAP Homeless Tenancies programme. We welcome any measures that will help alleviate the homeless crisis and the 200 additional emergency beds for rough sleepers are welcome.
“However, if the Minister wants to really help those at risk of homelessness he should reverse the decision to end the Ministerial Order, under which 50% of social housing was allocated to homeless and other vulnerable households.
“Similarly the creation of an additional 300 Housing First tenancies is best described as a modest expansion and is nowhere near sufficient when you factor in that there are well over 2,000 homeless single people.
“The accelerated provision of rapid build emergency accommodation units in Ballyfermot, Drimnagh, Belcamp and Finglas, should not be delivered at the expense of permanent social housing units in these areas.
“The €70 million in funding, over three years, for the Housing Agency to purchase 1,600 vacant units isn’t enough. Especially when you consider that according to the census figures for 2016 there are more 189,000 vacant units across the state, with 42,930 of these in Dublin.
“I accept that Minister Coveney has acknowledged the depth of the housing and homelessness crisis. However, re-announcing already published measures is no substitute for real action in tackling the homeless crisis.
“In my view the government is not acting with sufficient urgency or providing sufficient funding to people off the streets and into permanent housing.”