Saturday 25 March 2017

Kelly will issue new order telling councils to ringfence properties for homeless

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Enviornment Minister Alan Kelly is to issue a new order to local authorities next month requiring them to ringfence a substantial portion of properties for homeless or vulnerable families.

A number of local authorities are currently required to allocate up to 50pc of available dwellings to help address the homeless crisis, after a direction was issued by Mr Kelly in January.

The four local authorities in Dublin are required to designate 50pc of available homes for this cohort, while councils in Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway have been set a lower target of 30pc.

The scale of the homeless crisis in urban areas continues to cause significant concern in coalition circles.

Some 3,143 adults used State-funded emergency accommodation during a seven-day period in April, which represented a small increase on March.

And a total of 1,118 children were housed in hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation, with the problem most serious in Dublin.

The figures were provided to Labour Party TDs and senators at their parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday.

In a 23-page document issued at the meeting, Mr Kelly revealed plans to issue further ministerial directions to local authorities when the current direction period ends next month.

The Labour Party deputy leader is also considering extending the direction to apply to other areas, adding: "The operation of the direction will be evaluated before the six-month period expires and it will have to be considered whether prioritisation should continue; if greater prioritisation is required; should it be extended to other areas, etc."

Irish Independent

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