Dublin Simon Community’s Recommendations for New Government.

The new Government must address the key issues of housing and homelessness as a matter of urgency.

Dublin Simon Community recommends a strong and clear “Programme of Government” that includes:

  • Tackling the shortage of homes and stabilising the housing market by building more social and affordable housing, especially one and two-bedroom units;
  • Keep singles and families in their homes and stop the flow into homelessness;
  • Make homeless health services more available and accessible in the key areas of addiction recovery, aftercare and mental health.

What The New Government Must Do To Get The Homelessness Number Down:

1. Build more social and affordable housing

  • Introduce a plan on Housing and Homelessness in the first 100 days;
  • Make one-bedroom units more available and accessible for singles, who are among the most affected by the current housing shortage;
  • Treble National Housing First targets and puts vital health resources in place;
  • Invest more in Affordable Housing Schemes.

2. Keep singles and families in their homes

  • Hold a referendum to include the right to housing in the Irish Constitution;
  • Ensure Homeless Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) funding is in line with market rates;
  • Create better legal protections for tenants.

3. Ensure affordable rent for all

  • Freeze rents and ensure rent reviews are in line with the Consumer Price Index;
  • Regulate the private rented sector and introduce property inspections;
  • Invest in affordable cost-rental accommodation with local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies.

4. Make homeless treatment and mental health services more available and accessible

  • Invest in treatment and mental health services for people experiencing homelessness such as alcohol and drug detox, respite, recovery and Step Up Step Down services;
  • Make dual diagnosis treatment more widespread so mental health and addiction can be treated at the same time;
  • Provide 24/7 crisis mental health services for vulnerable groups such as people experiencing homelessness; Advance the funding and rolling out of the mental health strategy ‘A Vision for Change’ and National Drugs Strategy 2017 – 2025, ‘Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery’.

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