Understanding The Issue

Last modified on: 2016-12-07 07:39:54

Homelessness can mean sleeping rough, staying in emergency hostels or shelters, staying in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation or staying with friends and relatives when there is nowhere else to go. For people experiencing homelessness it is also about a lack of security, a lack of belonging and a feeling of isolation. The current economic climate means that there are more and more people at risk of homelessness and turning to Drogheda Homeless Aid for help.

In Ireland local authorities must assess the numbers of people who are homeless in their functional area at least every three years as part of the more general asessment of Housing Need. The net Housing Need is the number of households that cannot be accommodated through the exisiting housing stock available to housing authorities and returned a figure of 98,318 on 31 March 2011. Current figures are being compiled based on Census 2016 data and will be listed here when made available. The number of people recorded as homeless in  Ireland in July 2016 is 6,525 (4,177 adults and 2,348 children).

The Government Homelessness Strategy is contained within 'Rebuilding Irelnad: An Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness' and was launched in summer 2016. It's five pillars are: 

Address Homelessness

  • Ensure by mid 2017 hotels and B+B's are only used as emergency accommodation for families in 'limited circumstances'.
  • Provide 1,500 rapid build' housing by end of 2018
  • Increase number of 'housing first' units from 100 to 300 
  • Ensure sufficient emergency beds nationally

Accelerate Social Housing

  • Provide 47,000 units of social housing between now and 2021
  • Develop mixed tenure estates of which 25-30% to be social housing
  • Accelerate social housing approval process and reduce length of Part 8 planning process.

Build More Homes

  • Double output to about 25,000 units per year. (Last year's figure was 12,666. In 2006 it was 93, 419)
  • Establish a €200 million fund to put infrasdtructure into lands zoned for housing.
  • Planning reforms will enable larger housing applications to go straight to AN Bord Pleanala.

Improve the Rental Sector

  • Develop a strategy for the private rental sector to be published in the autumn
  • Review standards in the sector
  • Introduce an affordable rental sector and build to rent schemes

Utilise Exisiting Stock

  • Introduce scheme to provided up front aid to ownders of vacant properties to refurbush them for social housing.
  • Establish a €70 million fund for Housing Agency to buy repossessed buy-to-lets, vacant properties from banks and investors.
  • Enhance 'Living City' initiative to encourage peopel to live in vacant units in town centres.