Submission on General Scheme of Housing Bill 2014.

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The Simon Communities in Ireland would like to thank the Joint Oireachtais Committee on
Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht for inviting us to make a statement on the General Scheme
of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014. We are in the middle of a housing crisis. With 89,872 households on the social housing waiting list the amount of social housing available is very limited. The €30 million housing stimulus package announced as part of Budget 2014 is welcome, however, it is also inadequate in light of such high levels of need. Rents are increasing by between 4 and 11% per annum in our major cities and the number of properties available has declined sharply since 2009. Furthermore, rent supplement levels are proving insufficient to meet the asking price for many rental properties. Homelessness and the risk of homelessness are on the increase. We need to find more options and better, more sustainable
ways to house people in the longer term.

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