Submission to DHPCLG on Statement of Strategy 2016-2019.


The Simon Communities in Ireland welcome the opportunity to make this Submission to the Department
of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to inform the development of their Statement
of Strategy from 2016 to 2019. The Simon Communities work with over 7,500 people who are homeless
or at risk of homelessness each year. We are now over half way through 2016 and the numbers of people
who are homeless continue to grow; with the numbers entering homelessness greater than the numbers
exiting. This housing and homeless crisis is impacting every region and community around the country. It
is a nationwide crisis, more acute in our urban centres but certainly present in our rural areas. The number
of people trapped in emergency accommodation continued to grow in the first seven months of 2016.
During one week in July 2016 (latest available figures), there were 6,525 men, women and children in
emergency accommodation across the country; a 40% increase from July 2015. This included 2,667 adults
with no dependents in their care and 1,130 families made up of 1,510 adults and 2,348 children1

. In light of
these increasing figures, the Simon Communities welcome the recently published Rebuilding Ireland: Action
Plan for Housing and Homelessness (the Action Plan) and the coordinated approach contained therein to tackle
the complexity of the current housing and homelessness crisis. It is however critical to agree targets and
timelines for the delivery of key action points in the Action Plan particularly nationwide targets for the roll
out of Housing First. The absence of rent certainty measures is also cause for concern and we encourage
its inclusion as part of the new Strategy for the Private Rental Sector to be delivered by the end of the year
as committed to in the Action Plan. We believe it can, and must, have a significant impact on people
becoming homelessness and those experiencing housing difficulties. The Plan represents the start of a
process and it is essential to build on this momentum with the ongoing support of the Cabinet and members
of Government.

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