State makes progress in 2014 homeless plan

Half of the 20 goals set following Jonathan Corrie’s death have been achieved, while others under way

The Government has met 10 of its 20 goals set out in the action plan for homelessness which was instigated by the death of Jonathan Corrie near Leinster House in December 2014.

The remaining actions have either been amended or are still works in progress and the outcome of two of the actions remain uncertain.

One of the major actions was “a hotel under the control of Nama” would be purchased to provide accommodation for homeless families and be operational by April 2015.

Sixty-five units in a residential development are currently being used to provide accommodation to homeless families.

“With regard to the proposal to acquire a Nama hotel (measure 7) 65 residential units in the same Nama-controlled development were taken instead and are operating as homeless accommodation/assessment centre for homeless families since July 2015,” a spokesperson from the department told the Irish Examiner.

All of these units are in full use and consist of one-, two- and three-bed apartments with separate bathrooms and kitchens. Families can stay in them for up to 18 months.

The units are based in the South Dublin County Council area explained a spokesperson from Dublin City Council, who elaborated on the deal struck with Nama.

“Nama’s special-purpose vehicle, National Asset Residential Property Services as agreed with the South Dublin County Council entered into negotiation to purchase the 65 properties from the receiver and subsequently leased them to Túath- Approved Housing Body to manage as social housing properties and were made available for homeless households,” said the spokesperson.

The hotel action was one of two goals that were amended in order to be met.

The other action that was amended, was the development of a mobile phone prevention app, to raise awareness of tenants’ rights.

The spokesperson from the Department of Housing said that the app was developed “but the experience was that people preferred to use the phone,” in order to address concerns they had on housing.

There were two actions for which the department has yet to confirm the status. These are actions 17 and 18, which relate to the provision of long-term accommodation for older homeless people and a streamlining of primary care services being brought by the HSE into emergency accommodation.

There are six actions on which much work has been carried out, but they are still works-in-progress, as some had deadlines set for 2018.

These relate to vacant properties being brought back into use, examinations of lots scheduled for demolition, a thorough report on the homelessness sector and working with financial institutions, the private sector and the defence forces to address the problem.

Number games

Joyce Fegan

20: The number of actions set out in the December 2014 plan to address homelessness.

10: The number of actions categorically met. 

2: The numbers of actions that were amended from their original goal.

6: The numbers of actions that are partially completed and still in progress.

2: The number of actions, which the Department of Housing, has yet to answer on whether they have been met or not.

5,000: The number void units at a cost of €60m that were returned to use nationally in 2014 and 2015.

90%: The proportion of homeless families that are in the Dublin region.

June 2017: The date by when the Government plan to stop using hotels as emergency accommodation.


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