The Irish Government commits to invest €20 million ‘plus’ in expenditure and pressages the immediate provision of 260 additional emergency beds for people sleeping rough in Dublin as a response to the ever increasing homelessness.
Among other measures, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly is issuing a direction to the four Dublin housing authorities to allocate 50% of all housing allocations to homeless households and other vulnerable groups for the next 6 months having regard to the time spent by these households on the homeless and other housing lists as at 1 December 2014. This will provide homes for approximately 500 people.
Our Irish member organisation the ICSH welcomes measures to alleviate the immediate needs of rough sleepers and there also needs to be flexibility with the level of rent supports for those homeless or vulnerable households who are currently residing in the private landlord sector and experiencing major increases in rent levels in a private rental market which is under severe pressure.
The Executive Director of the ICSH, Donal McManus explains what led to the current situation:
'The current situation is the culmination of basically six years of little new build social housing provision as well thousands of new households looking to the very competitive private rented sector to meet their housing needs. ICSH Members together with public bodies have been playing their part to meet the housing needs of the homeless yet it is clear an increased provision of new social housing with affordable rents and security of tenure is the most stable environment that allows homeless households to address any other of their health or social needs they may have.'
The Plan, signed off by the Cabinet on Wednesday, December 10th, commits to €20 million ‘plus’ in expenditure and includes the immediate provision of 260 additional emergency beds for people sleeping rough in Dublin, a Nite Café to provide a contact point for homeless people who do not want to be placed in emergency accommodation and the provision of transport with support services to bring people sleeping rough to emergency accommodation where they will be cared for.
Summary of immediate actions to address rough sleeping and homelessness
- 260 additional emergency beds (including facilities made available by the Civil Defence and the Department of Defence) will be available before Christmas. Any person sleeping rough between now and Christmas will have a bed available should they choose to avail of it.
- A Nite Café will be established to provide a contact point for homeless people who do not want to be placed in emergency accommodation. It will provide food, rest area and showers. At full capacity, this facility will accommodate 50 people and will operate throughout the night, 7 days a week. An initial service will commence for a few hours a night from 15th December – full service from January.
- Transport with support services is being provided with immediate effect for those sleeping rough as an integral part of the Housing First service.