News & Events
Peter McVerry Trust, the charity working with homeless youths, has called on the Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan TD, to develop a national housing strategy. The charity said that such a strategy should be underpinned by the right to a home and would provide a framework for sustainable and coordinated delivery of housing stock. The call was made following the publication of a report by the Housing Agency which showed a minimum of 80,000 housing units would be needed in urban areas in the next 5 years.
Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “We welcome the publication of the report by the Housing Agency because it will assist in planning for future housing need. However, there is a need for a coordinated national approach to the delivery of housing under a new housing strategy. We have, at present, 89,000 households on a social housing waiting list, we also see rising rents, rising property costs and rising homelessness in urban areas.”
“Peter McVerry Trust believes that the Minister for Housing and Planning should in the immediate term work to re-introduce a rolling capital assistance scheme for the acquisition of available properties. This would be in addition to the recent and welcome round of CAS which has prioritised developing new builds. In addition to new builds using CAS funding to acquire properties means properties could be available within a matter of months having an almost immediate impact alleviating current pressure and helping more people exit homelessness. The amount of funding made available under any new scheme would need to be significant as previous schemes have been oversubscribed.”
Continuing Mr Doyle stated “If a new rolling CAS scheme were to be introduced it would provide the space for the Minister and the newly established multi-agency homelessness policy implementation team to work on developing a medium to long term housing strategy that would create a framework for a sustainable approach to housing delivery. Such a strategy should take in the entire housing sector including the needs of vulnerable groups such as people who are homeless. It would also help to regulate the private housing sector to ensure that we do not experience a repeat of past mistakes.”
“Any new housing strategy should be underpinned by the recognition of the right to a home. It should also recognise that the State has an obligation to be the lead facilitator in the provision and delivery of housing and that we need a mix of social, affordable and private housing provision in order to meet current and future need.”
Concluding Mr Doyle pointed out that there is an obligation on the State to develop such a strategy “There are existing obligations on the State to develop a national housing strategy under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which Ireland ratified 25 years ago. The Constitutional Convention has also recommended that the Government strengthen ESC rights including the right to a home in the Constitution and has submitted a report on the matter to the Government in recent days.”