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Response to housing crisis has been too little too late as families suffer

The Government is failing to grasp and address the gravity and scale of the homeless and housing crisis. The construction of 22 modular homes is insufficient to address the increasing number of children and families that are becoming homeless each month.

The number of modular homes proposed will not house the 637 families and 1,343 children that are in emergency accommodation and need homes right now. The Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said that he hopes a further 128 units will be available by February through a fast-tracked procurement process.

However, is the scale of the crisis not so large that 150 units cannot be fast tracked before Christmas?

This quite simply is too slow, too little and too late for families who are faced with long term emergency accommodation and a Christmas in a hotel room. The numbers becoming homeless in Dublin have been steadily increasing month on month. Without increased and immediate actions, the reality is that as 22 families move into these modular homes, another 22 families, and more, will be waiting to take their place in emergency accommodation.

Just this week, a report by the Housing First rough-sleeper outreach team demonstrated the severe blockage in emergency accommodation and enormous demand for beds. From just June to September, 13 families were found to have little option but to sleep rough in cars or tents across Dublin.

Without adequate prevention measures, there will be an increase in the numbers in emergency accommodation forced to spend this Christmas and New Year without a home.

The 22 units will have minimal impact as, without the provision of adequate rent certainty measures and an increase in rent supplement, there is nothing to curtail the ever rising flow of people into homelessness.

Rent supplement limits are simply too low, as rents continue to soar in Dublin and the number of homes available to rent decreases.

The need for action in the private rental market was highlighted by a report from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive who, from a survey of 79 families who had never been homeless before, found that 50% lost their homes due to loss of, or inability to secure, private rented accommodation.

Without any measures such as an increase in rent supplement coupled with rent certainty, we are predicting that the number of families and children without a home will increase to 767 and 1,610 by December.

Sam McGuinness

Dublin Simon Community

Dublin 2


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