News & Events
Peter McVerry Trust, the homeless and housing charity, has welcomed the publication of the report by the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness in addition to the Committee’s inclusion of recommendations presented to it by the charity.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said, “The recommendations contained in this report show that the Committee members came together to carefully consider the information presented to them by the variety of organisations and individuals that engaged with its work. As such, the Committee has produced a clear and rounded document that recognises that we have a homeless emergency in this State, and concentrates on the prevention of more homelessness.”
Peter McVerry Trust welcomed the Committee’s recommendations to significantly increase social housing provision, to link rents to the consumer price index, to increase security of tenure, to increase rent supplement to an amount that reflects the current rates within the rental market, to bring forward the vacant site levy and to expand the successful Housing First model; measures that the charity put forward in its presentation to the Committee.
Mr Doyle said, “We greatly welcome the recommendation to link rents to the consumer price index because the current rental rates are putting enormous financial pressure on incomes, driving more people into homelessness. Another important measure is to reinstate the ring-fencing of 50% of local authority allocations to the priority list in areas where homelessness is more acute to cater for the needs of long-term homeless people.”
“The building, acquisition and renovation of 50,000 additional social housing units by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies would significantly alleviate social housing waiting lists, and an adequate increase in rent allowance would also be a game changer for the people who are currently locked out of the rental market due to the disparity between rents and rent supplement.”
“The recommendation to put a moratorium on home repossessions is a hugely significant proposal because it will prevent more families from becoming homeless. However, it is important to note that unless the Government fully engages with the banks on this issue, which is something that has been lacking up until this point in time, a solution to this dire problem that many families face across the State will not be reached.”
A vitally important measure that has a noticeable absence from the Committee’s recommendations is the proposal to hold a referendum on the Right to a Home. Peter McVerry Trust believes that, in the event of a vote in favour of the amendment, this measure would be the crucial component in ensuring that when policy is formed in all Departments, it is in line with rights enshrined within the Constitution.
Peter McVerry Trust eagerly awaits the publication of the Government’s housing strategy in the coming weeks, and anticipates that these policies will contain the decisive actions required to address the homeless and housing emergency both in the short and long-term.
“If these recommendations are included in the new housing strategy, it will be a resolute and determined move towards fixing Ireland’s broken housing system. The turning point in the fight against homelessness will arrive when the number exiting homelessness exceeds the number entering homelessness but this will not be achieved without radical and robust interventions,” Mr Doyle concluded.
Nyle Lennon, Communications Officer, 087 907 3693