“The concentration of job losses in low paid sectors means that the impact (of COVID-19) has disproportionately fallen on groups that are least able to endure a financial hit,” said Kieran Stafford, national president, SVP.
“The electorate want this problem solved, believes it can be solved but does not believe any party has yet put forward the solutions that are needed to solve it. It is up to the newly elected councillors to show what can be done” – Pat Dennigan, Focus Ireland.
Focus Ireland stressed that much good work is being done but the crisis will continue without a substantial increase in social housing provision as a matter of urgency and a move away from providing yet more emergency accommodation and hubs.
“Rebranding private rent as social housing has not worked. Removing homeless families from official data as a policy response has not worked. Rebuilding Ireland has not worked” – Social Justice Ireland.
Kieran Stafford said it was a sign of Ireland’s standing that the International President of an organisation with members in about 140 countries visited here so early in his 6-year term of office.
“The policy of the past 25 years has led to a chronic under-supply of real social housing. It has resulted in the homelessness crisis we are now experiencing,” warns Fr Peter McVerry.
If the current rate of people becoming homeless continues, there will be 8,300 people living in homeless accommodation when the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe announces details of Budget 2018.
“The rising cost of rent is the main source of new homeless cases, and our worry is that we will see even more households losing their homes as the situation worsens”, Pat Doyle, CEO, Peter McVerry Trust.
“Budget 2018 should be designed so that it is both economically sound and socially fair. These twin objectives are both realistic and achievable. However, they need to be underpinned by a clear policy commitment to achieving both” – Dr Seán Healy.
Most people want to see reductions in healthcare waiting lists, increases in social housing provision and reliable high-speed broadband across rural Ireland. To achieve this means there should be no net tax cuts in Budget 2018 – Social Justice Ireland.
Irish bishops appeal to Catholics to pray for protection of human life from conception till death and call on government to “prioritise the needs of low income families, and target resources towards social housing and the homeless” in budget 2017.
A 130-home estate in Cork City will, by the end of the year, have 34 social housing units, delivered through Nama’s social housing “special purpose vehicle” working with Respond! housing.
Social Justice Ireland argue investment will yield significant returns in terms of both employment and productivity, and will also address two of the largest infrastructural deficits in Ireland today.
In its Pre-Budget Submission, the SVP quotes estimate that 25-30% of the population requires support in meeting their housing needs due to low incomes and high costs in Ireland.
“It is important for every candidate seeking our vote in the coming weeks to understand the appalling extent of child poverty rates in Ireland" - Barnardos.
“It is important that both politicians and the electorate think about the profoundly damaging impact the housing & homelessness crisis is having on so many."
“We are focusing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability" - Dr Seán Healy.
“We are satisfied that Mother Jones, if she was alive today, would have been very proud of Fr Peter for his ability to highlight the social injustice of homelessness.”