Simon Communities of Ireland Submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage


Simon Communities of Ireland attended the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage to discuss the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024.

During our address to the Committee, we raised three critical points. The first was to emphasise to the committee that the proposed provisions within the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024, particularly concerning the insertion of the habitual residence condition, warrant careful consideration due to their potential impact on homelessness and housing exclusion in Ireland and we would encourageĀ a broader consultative process be undertaken by the department.

Secondly while a stated aim of the proposed legislation is to establish consistency in how State entities assess access to social entitlements, the lack of statutory provisions regarding decision-making and appeals processes within the Heads of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024 stands in contrast with such provisions outlined in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005.

Finally, we would emphasise the experience of local authorities requiring eligibility to social housing to secure access to emergency accommodation, for which there is no legal basis. We strongly submitted to the committee that at a minimum there is a need to explicitly set out in the primary legislation that the habitual residence condition for the purpose of social housing does not affect and should not affect an individuals or a household’s eligibility for access to emergency accommodation.

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