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.
Ensuring that adequate and appropriate accommodation is available for all people and the development an equitable system for allocating resources within the housing sector forms a core piece of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the policy challenges and proposals on Housing are outlined in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’. The chapter is available below.
Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of ‘Social Housing Strategy 2020: Support, Supply and Reform’ which is the most comprehensive attempt to address the social housing problem in a generation. However the strategy fails to deal with the scale of the social housing challenge facing Ireland today. Without addressing the issue of scale, the social housing problem will not be resolved.
By 2025 the number of people living in Ireland aged over 85 years will have doubled. One clear implication of this will be additional demand for healthcare services and facilities. This is just one of many examples highlighted in Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2014 which highlight the need for longer-term planning by Government if Ireland is to promote the common good and ensure the wellbeing of its growing population.