Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Questions (307)

Cian O'Callaghan


307. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the target date for ending homelessness; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14371/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Helping individuals and families facing homelessness is a top priority for this Government and for myself as Minister. While there are many challenges facing people, in terms of accessing quality affordable housing, none compare to the dire situation facing people that find themselves without a home for whatever reason. For that reason, the Programme for Government "Our Shared Future" commits to reducing and preventing homelessness and provides detail on how the Government will approach this challenge.

Homelessness is complex and causal factors and family circumstances vary considerably as do the responses needed. Homelessness is also inter-related with the other areas of the housing system and indeed with broader social and healthcare policy and service delivery. Therefore, a whole of Government approach will be required in dealing with this ongoing challenge.

In terms of my own Department's areas of responsibility one of the key issues to be addressed to resolve homelessness is to increase the supply of housing, particularly for those on the lowest incomes. To this end, the Programme for Government commits to the increased supply of public, social and affordable homes. In particular, we will increase the social housing stock by more than 50,000 with an emphasis on new builds.

The Programme for Government also recognises that many households experiencing homelessness have additional support needs and includes specific measures to address these needs. These include measures to help rough sleepers into sustainable accommodation, the continued expansion of Housing First, with a focus on the construction and acquisition of one-bed homes, and, importantly, ensuring that there are dedicated funding and resources to deliver the necessary health and mental health supports required to assist homeless people with complex needs.