Sunday 19 November 2017

Banning bedsits 'was a mistake that hit homeless' - admits Housing Minister

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Photo: Tom Burke
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy Photo: Tom Burke

Ian Begley

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted outlawing bedsits was a mistake and contributed to the record number of people homeless today.

Bedsits were banned in 2013 because many of the one-bedroom-style units were considered substandard. However, it has emerged the reintroduction of these forms of accommodation has not been ruled out.

Speaking in Athlone yesterday, Mr Murphy said he believed there was a correlation between the ban and the jump in the number of homeless people.

Standard

"A decision was made previously to no longer allow bedsits to be built and allowed to be used as accommodation. I think that was probably a mistake," he said.

"I think there is a correlation between the ban on bedsits and the number of homeless individuals we see on our streets."

The minister insisted, however, if there was to be a return of bedsits, they would be of a high standard.

The Government discussed the ongoing housing situation at its weekly meeting yesterday, but officials said no specific stance was taken on the issue of bedsits.

"But even if that happens, certain minimum standards would have to be maintained," one source said.

Irish Independent

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