The Simon Communities in Ireland have said that they welcome the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) report, Urban Development Land, Housing and Infrastructure: Fixing Ireland’s Broken System, published this morning which argues that housing affordability must be built into the supply of housing.
Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities:
‘This report is coming at a critical juncture during the homelessness and housing crisis. Buying or renting a home is increasingly unaffordable in Ireland. We have now reached a point where there are nearly 10,000 people in emergency accommodation, at least 100,000 households are on the social housing waiting list and ongoing pressure on the private rented sector. Progress on social housing is welcomed and given the sheer scale of housing need the pace needs to be quicker. In addition, there is a huge reliance on the private sector especially in the form of the Housing Assistance Payment. We have said many times that the State must get back into the business of building and procuring affordable homes for people. We need to move away from the heavy reliance on private sector for the provision of social housing and ensure a greater focus on affordability. The Simon Communities are strongly supportive of NESC’s recommendations, particularly those highlighting the role that publicly owned land and institutions have to play in ending this crisis; the critical importance of building housing affordability into supply and the need for new relationships between public authorities and private holders of development land.’
‘There is disparity between what the government says it is doing and what is happening on the ground. Social housing construction in recent decades has stalled and mortgage debt and rents have spiralled. The human cost is enormous – not just for the people themselves but for society as a whole. The longer people are trapped in emergency accommodation and living at risk of homelessness, the greater the impact on their health and well-being. Everyone is entitled to an affordable, safe and secure home, and income should not be a barrier to this.’
The Simon Communities deliver supports and services to over 11,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness every year.
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