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Minister Alan Kelly TD, and the Minister of State, Paudie Coffey TD, announced that €182 million would be allocated to deliver an additional 1,000 social housing units. As a homeless charity, we welcome this but urge that more robust measures be put in place to stem the flow of households into homelessness and provide housing solutions for those experiencing homelessness.
We have been calling upon the Government to activate the provision of social housing, which comprises a mere 9% of homes in Ireland; and we are pleased to see progress. However, the unfortunate reality is 1,000 homes is only the start and a lot more are needed to meet the housing needs of the 90,000 people on social housing waiting lists and 5,000 people in homeless accommodation in Ireland.
To make real traction on housing and homelessness, we must enact a multi-pronged approach focused on fast-tracking social housing while increasing the accessibility and affordability of private rental accommodation for those on low incomes. We saw in the the Simon Communities only 5% of rental properties available are within the reach of those who rely on rent supplement or housing assistance payments. The case is clearly there for rent supplement and housing assistance payment levels to be increased in line with market rates.
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