Focus Ireland Pre-Budget Submission Calls For Action to Fast-Track – & Increase – Delivery of Social Housing to Tackle Homelessness Crisis

Focus Ireland launched its Pre-Budget Submission today (Sunday Oct 7th) which calls for action in next week’s Budget to fast-track delivery of social housing to help ease the homelessness crisis.

The charity made its call in advance of the cabinet meeting before the Budget on Tuesday as latest figures show a total of 9527 men, women and children homeless nationwide. These figures also shockingly show that more than 1 in every 3 people homeless is a child.

Focus Ireland had already submitted its budget proposals to all relevant Government Ministers in recent months.  The public document issued today concisely outlines 14 actions as the charity calls for to make this “A Budget For Homelessness”   Click HERE to view.

Focus Ireland Advocacy Director Mike Allen said:

“The latest figures clearly show the homeless crisis is continuing to deepen and the Government really needs to have this issue at the top of its agenda for tomorrow’s meeting.  We submitted our Submission to the Government in recent months to outline key measures which must be taken in next week’s budget if we are to fast-track delivery of housing and also cut the numbers becoming homeless.”

The measures Focus Ireland is calling for include Budget 2019 include:

  • Introduction of a vacant home tax to help bring units back into the active housing supply.
  • The existing Govt target is to deliver 7716 builds in 2020.  Focus Ireland is calling for an extra €400 million to be earmarked in Budget 2019 to deliver an additional 2,000 social homes in 2020.
  • Provide funding for a case manager for every family that is homeless.  Focus Ireland’s experience shows that a family with a support worker gets out of homeless four times more quickly than if they did not have one.
  • Help to prevent homelessness by increasing Rent Supplement and HAP payments to reflect market rents.

Mike Allen added:

“Another of the 14 recommendations in our submission is a call for greater investment in domestic violence services to help tackle and prevent homelessness. Domestic violence services have suffered cuts in the region of 17% cuts since 2012 and the funding should now be returned to at least pre-2012 levels to enable a better response to families fleeing violence.”

The organisation is also seeking additional funds for child support workers to assist the children in families which are living in emergency homeless accommodation for longer and longer periods.

Media contact: Alan Neary: 086 46 80 442.

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