Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (680)

John Curran


680. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the recent findings from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission which said the response to the homelessness crisis was leaving low earners vulnerable to shocks in the housing market and that it was of the opinion that the rise in homelessness had been significantly exacerbated by policy choices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25542/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Addressing homelessness is a priority for the Government. In 2016, the Government published the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness. Rebuilding Ireland is designed to significantly increase the supply of social housing by 50,000 homes in the period to 2021, double the output of overall housing to at least 25,000 homes per annum by 2020, support all tenure types (social, private and rental), and tackle homelessness comprehensively. The Plan is underpinned by over €6 billion in funding. By the end of Quarter 1 2019, 78,000 households had been supported under Rebuilding Ireland and this figure is expected to reach 100,000 by the end of 2019.

While the realisation of these objectives will provide the ultimate solution to addressing housing supply issues, my Department also recognises the need for short-term emergency measures to address issues of homelessness and is providing capital funding to local authorities to provide emergency accommodation, to ensure that there is sufficient shelter for all who require it. The Government has increased the budget available to local authorities to deliver homeless services to €146m in 2019, an increase of over 25% on the 2018 allocation. Local authorities and their service delivery partners work with households experiencing homelessness to identify and secure exits from emergency accommodation to independent tenancies.

During 2018, 5,135 individuals exited homelessness into independent tenancies, an increase of 8% on the 2017 figure of 4,729. My Department will continue to work with local authorities and other relevant stakeholders to ensure further significant progress in this regard this year.