Housing Associations Call for Renewed Focus on Social Housing at AGM 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, 3rd July 2017
Minister Eoghan Murphy to address housing associations at AGM
The five-pillar action plan on Housing and Homelessness, Rebuilding Ireland is only one-year off the block and must be given adequate resources to deliver on its commitments. So says Justin O'Brien, President of the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), speaking today (3rd July 2017) at the organisation’s AGM in the Ashling Hotel Dublin.
Welcoming new Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy to the event, Mr O’Brien says that tackling homelessness remains the most critical housing issue for Rebuilding Ireland. However, any review of the Rebuilding Ireland plan must also recognise that the homelessness crisis will not be addressed without the urgent delivery and significant scaling-up of social housing. “Housing associations can and have made a defining contribution here. In 2016 we accommodated almost 2,000 households from the waiting lists from new delivery and letting of existing stock”, he says.
At today’s AGM, the ICSH will be calling for the Government to provide access to public lands identified in 2017 into ready-to-go sites for delivery by housing associations. Dr. Donal McManus, CEO of the ICSH is calling for at least a 50,000 increase of Ireland's social housing stock over the next 5-6 years. 'We need a renewed focus on construction to provide long-term permanent social housing", he says. “There is also a multiplier effect, as good quality and affordable housing provides stability, improved quality of life, better educational attainment and enhanced employment opportunities.”
ICSH housing association members believe that an emphasis on mixed tenure developments is essential to reducing social inequality. Reflecting on this, Justin O'Brien says: “Housing associations have delivered and managed several thousand social rented homes in mixed tenure developments over the past decade. So it’s nothing new to us. We're ready to work in partnership with local authorities through a mixed funding delivery model. If they can bring sites to the table, housing associations can bring non-state loan finance, as well as our housing management focus and expertise.”
Monday, 3 July, 2017