Homelessness Implementation Plan

21st May, 2014


The Implementation Plan on the State’s Response to Homelessness which was announced yesterday (Tuesday) is a practical plan containing direct and immediate actions to deliver a ring-fenced supply of accommodation for homeless households.

The plan has the aim of achieving the Government’s objective of ending long-term homelessness (more than six months’ in emergency accommodation) by 2016. The plan estimates that 2,700 units over the next three years (900 per annum) are required to meet this target.

It will do this by:

· Ensuring that empty and boarded-up units are brought into use as quickly as possible

· Ensuring that vulnerable groups including homeless households are prioritised in the allocation of housing.

· Ensuring that other suitable vacant residential properties are brought into use as quickly as possible.

· Using NAMA units, and ensuring priority for homeless households.

· Ensuring that state leasing arrangements facilitate the use and accessibility of these properties by homeless households.

· Establishing a social housing renting service where properties for homeless households are sourced for use by local authorities and voluntary housing associations.

Key measures/funding

· In 2014, over 5,000 social housing units will be added by means of direct construction, returning vacant properties to beneficial use, and leasing of units from the NAMA and the private sector.

· Funding for housing this year at over €587 million, is effectively maintained at 2013 levels.

· In March 2014, some 56 social housing construction projects with an overall value of some €68 million were announced. 

· This new construction programme will deliver 449 new units of accommodation for people on the housing waiting list.

· Last month details were announced of a new measure with funding of €15 million which will be invested in bringing some 950 vacant and boarded-up local authority houses back into productive use.

· Last week the Government also pledged a further €50 million for further construction projects, the reinstatement of vacant dwellings, and for homeless-specific projects.

· Minister O’Sullivan will announce details in the coming days of further projects under the Capital Assistance Scheme, including a €25m provision for homelessness.