Containing Homeless Crisis - Irish Times

(01 Oct 2014)

Sir, – The use of prefabs to respond to Dublin’s housing crisis (“Containing homeless crisis”, Editorial, September 29th) is a damning indictment of successive ministers who faithfully promised to end homelessness within the next two years.

While your editorial acknowledges the use of prefabs is “far from ideal”, it then goes on to defend it as the best of the bad options available.

Whether in schools, hospitals or housing asylum seekers, the prefab far too easily moves from a stop-gap measure to becoming a permanent grim reality, which falls far short of the “long-term, stable housing” promised by the Government last year.

Dublin City Council needs to set out clearly the maximum stay for any family or individual being asked to move into a prefab, and to guarantee that the commitment to provide the much-promised “stable housing” by 2016 will be met.

Your editorial is correct in highlighting the importance of the forthcoming housing strategy as well as Budget 2015. Both are opportunities for real political leadership to deliver policies which are people-focused and not just further book-balancing exercises imposing even more hardship.

At Focus Ireland, we remain in the frontline of this crisis, with 40 more families becoming homeless during the past month.

We want the Government to revisit our request to invest €500 million to help deliver 3,000 homes that would also create up to 3,200 much-needed jobs.

I would encourage Ministers to act now – and make sure no-one is left marking 100-years since the Rising with only a prefab to call home. – Yours, etc,

Sr STANISLAUS

KENNEDY,

Life President,

Focus Ireland,

High Street,

Dublin 8.

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