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Response to Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of the Government’s Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.  However, we have concerns about the scale of the plan and the length of time it implies for eliminating Ireland’s housing crisis.

We welcome the plan, entitled Rebuilding Ireland:

  • It is the largest and most comprehensive attempt to address Ireland’s housing needs that any Government has published for several decades.  
  • As the organisation that originally urged Government to pursue the flexibility clause on structural reform contained within the fiscal rules flowing from the Stability and Growth Pact, we are very glad that Government has taken up this proposal.  We note that the Plan’s estimate of €1bn in additional resources that would flow from this approach concurs with our own estimate.

We are concerned about the Plan because:

  • Despite the plan’s scale it falls far short of planning to produce the number of houses required if Ireland is to eliminate its housing need.  Currently there are 90,000 households on waiting lists for social housing. If fully implemented the plan will meet a little over half of that requirement while making no provision for the growth in the waiting lists that is likely to follow the continuing rise in the cost of accommodation.
  • Despite the scale of Government and other resources being allocated in this plan, it falls far short of meeting the need for ‘off the books’ financing which will be required if Ireland’s social housing needs are to be met comprehensively.
  • The assumptions concerning the capacity of Approved Housing Bodies would require additional support if they are to be met.

Social Justice Ireland’s proposals on social housing for Budget 2017 may be accessed here.

Social Justice Ireland’s full Policy Briefing on Budget Choices may be accessed here.