Thursday 23 May 2019

Dublin City Council seek to set aside refurbished vacant homes for homeless families

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Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

DUBLIN City Council (DCC) wants to set aside vacant refurbished homes for homeless families still on the priority list.

Last year the council voted to remove homeless families from the priority housing list, but just under 500 remain on the historical list and are still marked as priority.

Housing boss, Brendan Kenny said that 50 of the families have offers, leaving 445 which they want to house as soon as possible.

But at the current rate of allocation Mr Kenny stated in a DCC report that "it will take some years to resolve their unsatisfactory situation".

To quicken the process, DCC are looking to ring-fence the voids for homeless families who are on historical priority.

They say that many - but not all - of the families have expressed an intention of remaining in emergency accommodation until they are offered social housing.

Mr Kenny had initially wanted to earmark the majority of the voids for homeless families, but last night Dublin City Councillors opted for 50pc to be allocated.

The DCC Housing Chief said that if this initiative is passed, they will also seek to 100pc reimbursement from the Department of Housing for the refurbishment of homes.

Mr Kenny also proposed ring-fencing small housing units for those living in hostels for lengthy periods of time.

He said the voids plan could be implemented for six months or until the end of this year.

The full council will vote on the proposal at next months meeting.

"While we are fully satisfied that the Scheme of Lettings Priorities implemented in June 2018 was the correct approach, the full benefits and effects will not materialise until this particular cohort of families with the historical/legacy priority are housed," Mr Kenny said.

Independent council Mannix Flynn described it as a "strong initiative".

 "It's going to alleviate a lot of homeless families who are in a completely unsuitable emergency for years. This is directed at those who are homeless, these are our most vulnerable."

Last year 24pc of council lettings were provided to homeless families.

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