FOCUS IRELAND CALLS ON THE 3 PARTIES IN GOVT FORMATION TALKS TO PUT IN PLACE A ROADMAP FOR HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS
Focus Ireland has written to the leaders of the three parties involved in government formation talks to call for the urgent development of a Roadmap for Housing & Homelessness to prevent a new wave of homelessness as the country emerges from Covid-19.
The charity has also written to the leaders of the other main parties.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said:
“In the face of the immediate crisis, the Government took a number of very welcome emergency measures such as a temporary rent freeze and ban on evictions. Overall these are being successful and effective in reducing the number of people becoming homeless through a number of key routes; for instance the number of families becoming homeless each month has now dropped to around one sixth of the previous level.”
”However, many of these are essentially ‘holding’ mechanisms and the resulting backlog of debt, pending Notices of Termination and social pressures will need to be managed to ensure that the lifting of restrictions is not accompanied by a wave of new homelessness.”
“In some countries, political leaders have recognised that Covid-19 can be a turning point in the fight against homelessness and have made commitments that people who are homeless who were accommodated during the health emergency will not be expected to return to the streets or hostels but will be offered homes through a ramped up Housing First programme. In Ireland, no political leader has yet been reported setting such a vision.”
Focus Ireland has said it wants to play a key part in working with its partner State & NGO organisations in ensuring this work is carried out in time so that the numbers of people who are homeless continues to fall and not spiral as it has done in recent years. The charity stressed that the action and decisions that are taken – or not taken now – will determine which way the homelessness crisis goes in the coming months.
The charity clearly outlines the key measures it believes must be included in any roadmap for housing and homelessness in its letter to the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan which can be read here.
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We are driven by the fundamental belief that homelessness is wrong. Wrong because it is a failure of society that creates victims out of ordinary people and robs them of their potential. Wrong because it can be prevented, it can be solved but is allowed to continue and in doing so, undermines society.