Housing and homelessness organisation welcome long term approach to land management
The Simon Communities in Ireland have responded to initial details of the new Land Development Agency launched by the Government today. The housing and homelessness organisation said that having a Land Management Agency is positive; however they expressed concern that only 40% of affordable (30%) and social (10%) housing will be realised from the disposal of Public Lands by the Agency. This means that 60% of public land used could go towards private housing.
Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said that a long term approach to land management was welcome.
‘We would like to see further detail on today’s announcement of a Land Development Agency. A long term approach to land management should help in terms of planning and forecasting and to help control land prices and speculation. This is a step in the right direction and we certainly welcome the establishment of a national centre of expertise for State bodies and local authorities, with expertise in project management finance, planning, development and procurementwith the right legislation. We look forward to more details on affordable and social housing requirements on land purchased by the agencywhere affordable housing is defined and determined by people’s income and ability to pay. There is a social policy norm that no one should be spending more than one-third of their income on housing. We would also like to see confirmation that Part V will still apply on private housing developments delivered under the Agency’s remit.’
‘While a plan to build 150,000 new homes is absolutely welcome, there is still considerable red tape in relation to approval, tendering and procurement processes at State level. We would look forward to seeing the details in addressing the timescales in terms of delivery with growing numbers in emergency accommodation month in, month out and housing pressures across the country this is urgent. There are thousands of people in Ireland who are either homeless or living in fear of losing their home. Any red tape needs to be continuously addressed urgently so that homes can be delivered more quickly to people who need them. People are trying to live their lives in very difficult circumstances characterised by stress, trauma and uncertainty. We need to transition from emergency-led responses to a statutory homelessness preventative model underpinned by State obligations to respect, protect and fulfil citizen’s basic right to adequate housing. Everyone is entitled to a safe, secure and affordable home appropriate to their needs.’
The Simon Communities deliver support, housing, homeless and treatment services to over 11,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness on an annual basis.
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Tel: 01 671 1606/ 085 806 5141
About Simon Communities
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 11,000 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.