The Irish housing crisis has been the main focus of the Government’s Budget speech on Tuesday, but the focus is not entirely on housing.
Instead, the Budget will set out the government’s approach to homelessness, in particular, a proposal for a national “housing bridge”.
The proposal would allow local authorities to apply for an allocation of affordable housing to cover their costs of providing support services to people who have nowhere else to go.
The Department of Social Protection has already agreed to make the proposal public, and has committed to spending €1.3 billion over three years to “provide the necessary funding and support” to ensure the “best and most affordable housing for all”.
The announcement comes after the Government released its “housing strategy” earlier this month.
The strategy, published in November, said that “housing affordability is a national priority” and that the Government “needs to get the ball rolling” on a national housing bridge.
The plan says local authorities will have the “flexibility to develop new ways to support and assist vulnerable people living in shared accommodation, and build on the existing infrastructure”.
It also outlines how the Government will “implement an inclusive, supportive and sustainable housing policy” for people with housing needs.
The Government says the plan will “build on the Government of Ireland’s existing support and accommodation provision for vulnerable people in need”.
“The Government of the day will provide support and support for vulnerable and isolated people living with a number of chronic, chronic and/or chronic-conditions, and will work with the sector to provide appropriate housing and support to those who need it the most,” it says.
“The Department will also continue to work with local authorities across the country to build a national community and housing strategy to address homelessness.”
Read more on homelessness here.
The budget includes funding for the new national homelessness strategy, and the introduction of a new homelessness strategy to be announced in the coming weeks.
The homelessness strategy will be developed with support from the Department of the Environment, Tourism and Sport and Housing Ireland.
The government has already committed to funding €1 billion over the next three years for a “housing plan”, with the first step of the new strategy expected to be an “enabling strategy” that will include “new policies, measures and services” for “all vulnerable people” across the housing sector.
It’s been a tough year for homelessness in Ireland.
The country has had its worst year on record in the number of people sleeping rough in the past two years, with the number on the streets for the first time in six months.