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Housing

There are 10,448 people accessing emergency accommodation, including 1,685 families.  There are 68,693 households on the social housing waiting lists.  There are more vacant homes than households on the social housing waiting list in every county.  Read Social Justice Ireland's Election Briefing on Housing for an outline of a number of key challenges facing Ireland and some policy proposals that should be in the next Programme for Government.

Ageing will be a dominant theme in the 21st century according to The United Nations World Economic and Social Survey. How we think about ageing can impact the policies we introduce and the supports we deem necessary.  Dr. Diarmuid O'Shea (Irish Gerontological Society) presented on the theme of ageing as an opportunity to add healthy years to life at our Social Policy Conference and emphasised that health and social care expenditures for older people need to be seen as an investment, not a cost.

Our 2019 Social Policy Conference was titled "The Challenges of Success" and looked at the appropriate policy responses to Ireland's changing demographics.
Click here to download slides and papers from the conference, watch videos of the presentations, see our handy summary graphics, or download the entire conference booklet for free.

Rebuilding Ireland srategy is not working. Given that this strategy fell far short of the scale of the response required in the first place, the failure to deliver the modest targets in all five pillars is a major indictment of Government policy. At our 32nd Annual Social Policy Conference, we reviewed the Government's housing strategy from the perspective of the young and old living in Ireland today and found it wanting.

In allocating just €2m of additional funding to the RTB for investigating and sanctioning non-compliance with the Rent Pressure Zone measures, and no additional funding for rent inspections and sanctions under other landlord and tenant legislation, the Government has shown that they are not serious about protecting tenants. 

Extending the Help to Buy Scheme for an additional two years subsidises the better off at the expense of providing sustainable and affordable homes for those in most need.

€147 million was spent on Emergency Accommodation for homeless peopled in 2018.  A mere fraction of this (less than €10 million) was spent on prevention.  In allocating €166m between emergency accommodation and homelessness prevention in Budget 2020, Government refused to change a policy that simply isn't working and, instead, look for real solutions.  

Ireland has signed up to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and is committed to legally binding climate commitments in 2020 and 2030.  We have a national commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050 yet we spend up to €4 billion every year on potentially environmentally damaging subsidies.

The ongoing confusion regarding the funding of applications to the SEAI Deep Retrofitting pilot is disappointing, particularly as one of the headline policies in the Climate Action Plan 2019 to ensure Ireland transitions to a low carbon future is increased retrofitting.  Will Budget 2020 deliver the resources required to establish a comprehensive and ambitious retrofitting programme?

A Site Value Tax would be a fairer and more efficient way to generate additional government revenue than the current Local Property Tax, and it would also incentivise better use of land at a time when Ireland faces a significant housing and accommodation crisis.

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