The Simon Communities in Ireland have cautiously welcomed the announcement by Minister Alan Kelly that some rent certainty measures are to be introduced. However, the homeless and housing charity expressed disappointment that it is not full rent certainty.
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities in Ireland said
'We welcome the news that there is to be some rent certainty for tenants and landlords. However, without linking rents in the private sector to an index like Consumer Price Index there is still nothing stop rents continuing to increase especially at a time when the number of properties available to rent is at an all-time low.”
“We are now calling on the Government to ensure quick introduction of the legislative changes needed to allow for biannual rent increase so as to prevent a massive rent hike on foot of the announcements.”
“As rents remain unaffordable, more and more people will be pushed into homelessness. There are over 5,000 men, women and children trapped in emergency accommodation, many more hidden homeless people are sleeping rough, staying with friends or relatives and in squats and thousands more are at risk. That is no way for people to live.”
“It must be ensured that people remain in their homes, where possible. We urgently need to move away from emergency led responses, we can’t just keep offering people short term solutions with little attention paid to their longer term needs. The solutions to this crisis are preventing people from becoming homeless and providing access to affordable, permanent housing with support – a housing first approach.”
“The gap between Rent Supplement and market rents continues to grow. Our Locked Out II report (August 2015) showed that 92% of properties on the market are outside of the reach of people on state rent support. This limited state support means we will continue to see more people becoming homelessness and people prevented from leaving homelessness behind. Such rent certainty, as recommended by the Governments own advisory body the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) to stabilise the market benefiting both landlord and tenant, would have addressed this.”
The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 6,000 individuals and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year.
For media queries and interview requests
Helen McCormack, Simon Communities of Ireland
Tel: 01 47 27 202/ 085 806 5141
Homelessness - the numbers
• There are currently 5000 men, women and children in emergency homeless accommodation nationally, 738 families with 1,571 children, and 2448 single people. (DECLG, September 2015)
• During one night in March 2015, there were 151 people without a safe place to sleep in Dublin City. This included 105 people sleeping rough and 46 people sheltering at the Nite Café. Unfortunately, Dublin is the only area where an official rough sleeper count takes place, making it difficult to get a countrywide rough sleeping picture. (DRHE 2015) Figures from Cork Simon Community indicate that rough sleeping in Cork City increased seven-fold in three years (2011-2014).
• In December 291 extra emergency beds were made available (Dublin and Cork), they are all or almost all are in use, (beds in Cork winding down since March 31st).
• In December the Simon Communities reported a 41% increase in the numbers of individuals and families around the country turning to our services for help over a two year period.
• Rent in the private rented sector increased by 20.3% from Jul 2013 –Jul 2015 (daft.ie).
About Simon Communities
The Simon Communities in Ireland are a network of eight regionally based independent Simon Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East that share common values and ethos in tackling all forms of homelessness throughout Ireland, supported by a National Office. The Simon Communities have been providing services in Ireland for over 40 years. The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 6,000 individuals and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year. Whatever the issue, for as long as we are needed, Simon’s door is always open. For more information please log on to www.simon.ie
Services range from
• Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk;
• Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence;
• Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;
• Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.