Independent Senator Katherine Zappone is hosting a ‘Housing and Homelessness – Issues Of Our Time’ public meeting tonight, Wednesday December 2nd at 7 pm in The Plaza Hotel, Tallaght.
Also in attendance will be Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy, Founder, Focus Ireland to address the issues ongoing with homelessness in Ireland and in Dublin in particular. Sr. Kennedy is making a direct appeal to Taoiseach Enda Kenny to knock heads together including Nama, developers, Local Authorities etc as well as his Ministers and top civil servants, to set up an emergency task force to replace rhetoric with real actions.
The number of families and children homeless has doubled to a September total of almost 800 families and over 1,500 children. The number of single people has also risen. There are now over 100 people sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin each night and rough sleeping is also rising in Cork, Limerick and Galway. Focus Ireland supported over 11,500 customers in 2014, an increase of 15% from the 10,000 we supported in 2013.
The meeting will discuss the need for a coherent national housing policy, which will address the priorities, which include:
- A commitment to introduce ‘rent certainty’ (not just a rent freeze for 2 years), for the 20% of people living in private rented accommodation must be honoured.
- An increase in the rent supplement in keeping with increases in market prices.
- Provide proper and well-regulated emergency accommodation, not just a bed for the night, for people when they need it.
- Speed up the delivery of social housing, plans already announced are taking too long and are having little impact on the immediate crisis.
- Recognise that having a home is a basic human right in our constitution, as recommended by the Constitutional Convention.