Simon: Housing crisis looming for homeless02/10/2012 - 10:02:50
Initial findings of research into housing for people who are homeless in Ireland indicates a "concerning trend" of demand outstripping availability of appropriate housing.
Nicholas Pleace of York University, international housing and homelessness expert, has conducted the research in association with the Simon Communities in Ireland looking at housing-led responses and the homelessness strategy in Ireland.
The research looks at access to long-term housing and explores the different ways out of homelessness.
The research shows that budget cuts to services and a lack of social or private rented accommodation could jeopardise the success of the housing-led approach.
Nicholas Pleace said: "This ongoing research shows how the Simon Communities and other homelessness services are rising to the challenge of minimising homelessness in a situation of austerity and also highlights the difficulties those services are facing. A new emphasis on housing-led and Housing First services to tackle homelessness in Ireland creates both opportunities and risks.
"While such housing-led services are potentially very effective if implemented correctly, they cannot in themselves provide a complete answer to homelessness nor meet the needs of the diverse population of people who experience homelessness in Ireland".
Jan O’Sullivan, Minister of State with special responsibility for housing and planning said: "We all recognise that homelessness is a complex issue and there is no single solution.
"My department has committed to ensure that homelessness is tackled in a more planned and strategic way; to providing housing and resettlement solutions and supports rather than managing people in long-term homeless facilities.
"In the past we placed too much emphasis on emergency accommodation. Past policy on homelessness was driven by short-term measures and an overwhelming emphasis on emergency accommodation. I am determined that this policy changes and we produce more sustainable, appropriate responses to homelessness."
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