The Simon Communities in Ireland have welcomed the rent stability legislation that is expected to be passed by the Seanad later today.
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities in Ireland said
“We welcome the legislation introducing rent stability and we especially welcome the Deposit Protection Scheme which is due to go through report and final stages in the Seanad later today. The Simon Communities have long called for action to enhance security of tenure for people in the private rental sector. These new measures will bring some stability to the both tenants and landlords. However these measures do fall short of full rent certainty with rents linked to an index such as the Consumers Price Index (CPI) which we have been calling for. We also believe need more urgent action is needed as these measures alone cannot address the homeless and housing crisis which is growing by the day.”
“Now that there is some rent stability for the private rented sector, meaning that rents are guaranteed for two years before there can be another rent increase, it is the right time to finally raise Rent Supplement limits and help people to remain in their homes where possible. The gap between these payments and market rents is continuing to grow. 92% of properties on the market are outside of the reach of people on state rent support . This limited state support means more people will become homelessness and more people will be prevented from leaving homelessness behind. We must increase the limits for people right around the country. The rental report published just last week by Daft.ie shows that princes are getting higher right around the country. Meanwhile, the number of properties available is decreasing.”
“The solution to ending homelessness lies in addressing housing supply and affordability. We urgently need to make better use of existing stock that is out there and provide homes for people. We must 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. There are currently 5,000 men, woman and children trapped in emergency accommodation with no prospect of a home anytime soon. We are very fearful for the future as the weather gets colder and numbers of people tuning to services continue to rise. 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 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).
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.