29th July 2022
Simon Communities of Ireland Launches
Pre-Budget Submission to Tackle Homelessness
Today, the Simon Communities of Ireland (SCI) launched its pre-budget submission, containing key recommendations to Government on Budget 2023. Overall, there are ten priority areas totalling a budget ask of €1.56 billion.
Seven priority recommendations aim to improve access to housing, and support those at risk of homelessness and those in homelessness to secure a home:
- Bring 5,000 vacant properties into the market through the Repair and Lease Scheme for people in homelessness and on the social housing waiting list
- Double funding towards homelessness prevention
- Reform HAP rates
- End homelessness for care leavers
- Host a Referendum on the Right to Housing in 2023
- Increase HSE funding for homelessness services
- Improve sector funding
Three priority recommendations focus on the social protection system to ensure levels of income support is available to prevent homelessness:
- Bring rent supplement rates in line with market rate
- Increase social welfare rates
- Pay a living wage in 2023
Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communications at the Simon Communities of Ireland said:
2022 has seen a drastic rise in the number of people in homelessness. The burden of the housing and inflation crisis weighs on the shoulders of those least able to bear it. The State needs to step up the supports for those on the lowest incomes and those in the most acute housing need.
Our high vacancy rates are an opportunity for Government to quickly increase housing stock for those in homelessness and on social housing waiting lists. This needs to be a priority in Budget 2023 to give relief to some of those men, women and children struggling in homelessness or the thousands more in hidden homelessness.
Our recent history has shown us that Ireland is capable of taking bold and significant action when we decide to tackle a crisis. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw leadership and coordination from the Government as they took the necessary steps to protect people not only from the Covid-19 virus, but also from poverty, social exclusion, and homelessness. The pandemic showed us Ireland’s ability to tackle a crisis head-on. While the scale of what is needed to address the housing and homelessness crisis is not comparable to the response to the pandemic, the vision and ambition are. Simon Communities of Ireland ask that the State apply this ambition to tackle the homelessness crisis that continues to unfold.”
For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 firstname.lastname@example.org