Submission to inform DEASP Statement of Strategy 2017-2020.

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The Simon Communities in Ireland welcome the opportunity to make this submission to inform the
development of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) Statement of
Strategy 2017-2020. The housing and homelessness crisis continues to escalate impacting every region in
the country. According to the most recent data available 8,160 people are living in emergency
accommodation, including 3,234 adults without dependents in their care and 1,429 families composed of
1,953 adults and 2,973 children. This is in addition to the many thousands of households living in precarious
tenancies experiencing ongoing housing instability. Despite the Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and
Homelessness, more is required to arrest the increasing numbers of households entering homelessness as a
result of the malfunctioning housing system and underlying social inequality and poverty. Income adequacy
is central to preventing homelessness and keeping people in their homes. DEASP has a central role in the
continued administration and delivery of vital supports for people who are homeless or at risk of
homelessness. These supports are critically important to keeping people in their homes, preventing
homelessness from happening in the first place in addition to supporting households in emergency
accommodation to leave homelessness behind. This submission will firstly review the current Statement of
Strategy, examining the existing and newly transferred functions of DEASP. Thereafter, a series of
recommendations are presented applicable to the current functions of DEASP under the Simon
Communities in Ireland three critical priorities for Budget 2018: (1) Preventing homelessness and keeping
people in their homes; (2) Rapid access to affordable, safe and secure housing and prioritisation of people
experiencing long term homelessness; (3) Support in housing. This is followed by an exploration of three
strategic priorities that if advanced can contribute to ending the current housing and homelessness crisis
and preclude its reoccurrence in the future.

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