Saturday 22 July 2017

Minister considering bedsits return

Eoghan Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Eoghan Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke

Gavin White

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has refused to rule out bedsits as a means to house homeless people.

Mr Murphy said bedsits were one "suggestion" he was considering during the review of the Rebuilding Ireland programme.

"I think it's important as I approach this review that I don't take anything off the table too soon, until I've looked at it properly to see if it could be a part of the solution.

"This is about supply, so if we can find new sources of accommodation that suits the needs of people, that are up to the required standards, then we have to be very robust," he said.

Mr Murphy said that there were around 25,000 vacant homes in Ireland that had the potential to house families, which he said would bring the vacancy rate in line with other cities in Europe.

Mr Murphy said his department is also "looking into solutions" around the possibility of using empty spaces above shops for suitable housing.

"I used to live above a shop when I lived in Vienna and it's a lot more common in European cities than in towns in Ireland, so there's a huge opportunity here," he said.

The minister was speaking at the AGM of the Irish Council of Social Housing (ICSH) in Dublin, where he said the need for social housing was an "obligation" for the State.

Dr Donal McManus, CEO of the ICSH, said there was a need for at least 50,000 more social housing units over the next five years.

Irish Independent

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