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Policy issues concerning Housing

The Daft.ie Rental Report released today showed that private rents continue to rise in Ireland, with average rent nationally now standing at €1,227 and reaching a high of €1,995 in South County Dublin.  There were 85,799 households (235,947 people) on the social housing waiting list in June 2017, a decrease of 6% from September 2016, however over half of that decrease is attributable to transfers from Rent Supple

While the economy is doing well, it is crucial that policy-makers realise that many on lower incomes are not benefiting as they should. Almost 800,000 people in Ireland are living in poverty, a quarter of a million of whom are children. 1 million people in Ireland are experiencing deprivation. 105,000 people are working in a job with income so low they are living in poverty. Social Justice Ireland has a plan to fix this, and to build a fairer society for all.

The current approach to housing policy in Ireland is not working; the private sector will never build social housing units on the scale required.  Government must commit to building sufficient social housing units to eliminate the current housing waiting list.  This is the only way to address Ireland’s ongoing housing and homelessness crisis.  This is a key finding of Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2017.

A Right to Housing

This paper explores a basic income in the context of a right to housing.  It was first presented at a policy conference 'Basic Income - Radical Utopia or practical Solution?’ and published in the accompanying book.  Also available to download is the presentation and a cartoonist’s interpretation of the paper.

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.

Social Justice Ireland made a presentation on Social Housing Supply to the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness today. The scale of the social housing challenge that Ireland faces is immense.  There are 90,000 households on the waiting list for social housing.  Securing sufficient finance to provide the scale of social housing required is a major challenge. There is no possibility of providing the level of financing required to deal with the scale of the problem on the Government balance sheet within the current fiscal rules. 

A brief snapshot on how Ireland is performing in terms of social housing provision and some policy proposals.

The focus of the Programme for Government and 32nd Dáil must be on investment in infrastructure and services.  Lack of investment in housing, health, childcare, rural broadband and education threatens economic growth and stability.   The latest research from Social Justice Ireland  in ‘Choices for Equity and Sustainability’ shows that a lack of investment is undermining Ireland’s economic and social stability. 

Ireland is in the midst of a social housing crisis and a homelessness crisis.  The numbers of families living in hotels in the Dublin region doubled in 2015 and the numbers of new families presenting as homeless increased by a third last year in Dublin alone.

We are focussing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability, that have major implications for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole according to the National Social Monitor 2015 published by Social Justice Ireland.  It goes on to argue that a balance is required between the various aspects of life if the wellbeing of this and future generations is to be secured.

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