Dublin Central Homeless Figures Demand Fundamental Change in Government Policy – McDonald

Responding to the latest local family homeless figures Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald has called on the Housing and Finance Ministers to release the necessary monies to enable local authorities deliver an ambitious programme of social and affordable homes.

The Sinn Fein Deputy Leader said:

“It is beyond any reasonable person’s comprehension have we have arrived at a point where 326 families with dependent children – 437 adults and 583 children – are homeless in Dublin 1 and 3 alone.

“The prevalence of family homelessness is a moral outrage in a modern and wealthy country such as Ireland. Imagine the trauma, the insecurity and the hurt these parents and their children experience day and daily. How difficult the ordinary duties of life are. Getting the kids ready of school; preparing their lunch; washing their uniform; making sure they get their homework done.

“Sinn Féin’s submission to the review of the government’s action plan for housing, Rebuilding Ireland, argues that that the action plan itself is fundamentally flawed. It is over reliant on the private sector to deliver social housing solutions and has no concrete plans for the delivery of affordable rental or purchase housing. There is no vacant homes strategy and to date no study on construction costs. There was very little in terms of legislative change for those living in the private rented sector, especially in relation to security of tenure issues.

“To tackle this crisis for the long-term government must deliver10,000 real social housing units, owned by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies, each year. They must abandon the expensive and contractually risky use of Public Private Partnerships and Joint Ventures/Land Initiatives and fully fund local authorities to develop mixed tenure estates and regeneration projects on public land.

“The bureaucratic approval, tendering and procurement process slowing up the delivery of social housing must be addressed. This can be done by reducing the current four stage process from 24/36 months to a one stage approval process delivering units from conception to tendering in less than a year. There must also be an adequate supply of adapted homes to meet the needs of those households on the social housing waiting lists with disabilities, mobility issues or who require wheelchair access.

“Government can end the crisis but only if they stop looking to the private sector as the solution. Local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies must be enabled to deliver an ambitious programme of social and affordable homes.” CRIOCH