Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Update on Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness: Discussion

Photo of Eoghan MurphyEoghan Murphy (Dublin Bay South, Fine Gael)
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I thank the Deputy. He is most welcome to this morning's session of the committee. The figures for April are just out. As the Deputy pointed out, they have increased, which is very disappointing. However, we continue to increase the stock of social housing.

We continue to see housing delivery generally across the economy ramping up quite significantly and sustainably, which is important as well. We are now seeing moderation in house prices, which is good, and we have changed the laws around rent pressure zones, although this will still take some time to take effect. It is very disappointing to see the numbers up again. We have seen a decrease in the number of families and children in emergency accommodation month on month. It is a small decrease but it is still a decrease. In the first four months of the year we have seen more than 320 families leaving emergency accommodation, so it is important to point that while there are more people now in emergency accommodation than there were in the previous month, people are exiting all the time. Families are getting out of emergency accommodation and into homes. It is also important to note that for every two families that came into homelessness services and might have gone to emergency accommodation, we found a home for one before that happened. That speaks to the huge level of work that is ongoing in local authorities and with non-governmental organisations, NGOs, to prevent families from having to go into emergency accommodation. Roughly speaking, for every family that went into emergency accommodation in the past month, one family would also have exited that accommodation.

There is a great deal happening and the NGOs that work with us do a fantastic job. Work is done through these NGOs, and we are spending more than €120 million on emergency accommodation this year and those types of services because we recognise that those NGOs are the experts. It still a very big challenge that we face and there is no doubt about that.