It is not acceptable that in Ireland in 2015, we have families, including children, living in emergency accommodation. The case the Deputy raises, or any other such case, is simply unacceptable. The Deputy talks about the only meaningful solution. As she well knows, the only meaningful solution to this undoubted problem that exists - nobody denies that it exists - is that we actually resume as quickly as possible, as we are doing, a home building programme in the State, one that was abandoned disgracefully seven or eight years ago, where local authorities withdrew, and in fact were encouraged to withdraw, from the building of social housing. That will allow us to provide the homes that individuals and families need and in that way ensure we address the issue of homelessness. That is the only meaningful solution in my view. That is the leadership the Government is showing and needs to show in respect of this issue of the housing problem and the associated homeless factor that we have at the moment.
We have increased funding, as the Deputy will be aware. We have allocated approximately €2.2 billion for social housing in the coming period. We have increased Exchequer support to address homelessness, in particular for emergency accommodation, by €17 million. Exchequer funding in that regard is now of the order of €70 million, an increase of 56% since 2014.
We have a cold weather action plan for the winter months in the Dublin area to assist people who are at risk of sleeping rough. Additional beds are being brought on line. We are addressing the emergency element of the problem and the Minister, Deputy Kelly, is doing that effectively. That is what leadership is about and that is what we are doing and what we intend to continue to do.
Demonstrating leadership means having a range of policy approaches to address, first, the immediate emergency edge of the problem relating to homelessness, particularly in our cities, which is what we are doing. In the medium term, we need to get going as quickly as possible, as we are doing, with a social housing building programme. That is what we are addressing.
On rent certainty, colleagues will be aware that the Minister, Deputy Kelly, is bringing legislation through the Houses in respect of the rental sector. Additional certainty is being afforded by that legislation so that we can do as much as we can with the legislative measures we put in place to ensure that people who are in rental accommodation are not in fear of rent increases on a regular basis and that can only happen over the new period of two years.