A special Government Committee set up to tackle the homeless crisis wants 50-thousand new social housing units built over the next four years.
The idea is just one of a list of recommendations from the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness due to be published in full later this morning.
Back in April 14 TDs from across the political divide began the arduous task of finding a solution to the country’s current housing and homeless crisis.
In the months that followed they’ve spoken to experts and advocates to get advice and experiences from those on the coalface of the problem.
They’ve now come to some conclusions and are preparing to issue a report this morning outlining exactly what needs to be done.
Among the highlights is a moratorium on repossessions to stop more people ending up on the street and more rent certainty by linking rent reviews to the consumer price index.
They also think we should fast-track the planning process for social housing, from 8 weeks to 6.
They want the Housing Minister to consider the establishment of a housing procurement agency, with staff from NAMA, the Department of Housing and the Department of Finance.
And if the committee’s advice is taken, the Government will try to protect people from evictions by allowing housing associations to purchase rental properties from distressed homeowners.
Among the top priorities though is an immediate recommendation to increase the rent supplement, for social welfare recipients, to reflect the current market values – something the homeless campaigner Father Peter McVerry has repeatedly asked for.