Ambitious housing targets: Urgency needed on home crisis

Ambitious housing targets: Urgency needed on home crisis
Developer Michael O’Flynn

There were, according to Focus Ireland, 9,681 people homeless at the end of March. 

The agency pointed out that the number of families becoming homeless has increased by 37% since March 2017 and that more than one in three of those in emergency accommodation is a child.

Even if that figure pales into insignificance when compared to California’s Los Angles county, where there are an estimated 58,000 homeless people, it represents a crisis and every effort must be made to resolve it.

To that end, Cork County Council hopes to complete 2,376 social housing units before the end of 2020. 

Most of those houses will be under the control of the council. 

Some will be bought from developers while others will be private houses which the authority will buy.

Adding to that momentum, developer Michael O’Flynn hopes to build around 1,300 homes in a Cork suburb within a decade. 

Other developers have other plans. 

The impact those developments will have on the region’s housing implosion remains to be seen but it does seem that our response to this well-flagged crisis is not as immediate or urgent as seems necessary. 

Maybe a new Citizens’ Assembly should be called to consider all elements of this crisis, everything from the price of development land, to the role the market plays, conflict-of-interest financing and our planing laws too.

Surely we can’t tolerate a situation where there might be 10,000 homeless people in this rich country?

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