Homeless and housing charity say urgent action is required to follow through on commitments
The Simon Communities in Ireland have welcomed the announcement from the Minister of Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly T.D., of the allocation of funding for the delivery of 1,000 new social housing units. The units are due to be delivered as part of the Social Housing Strategy.
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, said that any measures which help to increase affordable housing supply are to be welcomed but rapid implementation with clear timescales is essential.
“The Simon Communities are very supportive of the Social Housing Strategy and we very much welcome these commitments. Building and delivery of social housing directly by local authorities is critical to addressing the current housing crisis. We particularly welcome the Minister’s commitment to 400 new local authority staff to support the construction of 10,000 homes per year as part of the medium to long term plan. One of the things we have been concerned about is the capacity of Local Authorities to deliver on social housing commitments. It’s only with the capacity, correct skill set and resources that this strategy can be delivered.”
“We also welcome the approval of new construction projects under the Capital Assistance Scheme that will be delivered by Approved Housing Bodies for tenants with special needs and we look forward to more details on this. We have highlighted the need to continue to resource and protect the Capital Assistance as a key mechanism for the delivery of social housing to special needs groups particularly people who are homeless.”
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, continued
“The biggest challenge we are facing right now is access to appropriate, affordable housing and without this access, more people will end up at risk and more people will become trapped in emergency accommodation. We welcome medium to longer term plans but we also require short term plans to ensure that housing is delivered to those who need it most. Emergency accommodation must only be a temporary measure before people can be moved to homes of their own. Access to affordable housing with support is the most cost-effective and proven solution to the housing and homeless crisis.”