Peter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, has given a broad endorsement of the Housing for All strategy published by Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD. The charity has welcomed a range of initiatives within the strategy including increased delivery of social housing, higher targets under the Housing First programme, major emphasis on urban regeneration and the aim to end homelessness by 2030.
High Level Reaction
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said “Housing for All is a progressive document that will move us closer to achieving a more sustainable housing system that works for all in society. There are a number of key areas where the Minister has taken on board our views and our proposals to help people impacted by homelessness.”
“The ambition to deliver 90,000 social housing units, together with increased Housing First targets and growing the existing cross Government work on social inclusion are all hugely welcome.”
“The multi-annual funding certainty that comes with the launch of Housing for All, offers clarity and confidence to key actors within the housing system as to the future direction of housing delivery. This confidence is important if we want to achieve the scale of housing needed over the next decade.”
“We are delighted to see a target of 90,000 new social housing units under Housing for All. The availability of housing, and in particular one-bedroom homes will play a central role in tackling homelessness. To that end we warmly welcome the move to require all local authorities to set out how they will go about delivering one-bedroom social housing units as part of their social housing plans.”
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, welcomed the major emphasis on Urban Regeneration within the plan “We are delighted to see greater emphasis being placed on urban regeneration and issues such as derelict sites, empty homes and over the shop living. If we want to deliver a more sustainable housing system, reusing existing buildings for social and affordable housing has to be a key part of that and I am particularly pleased to see the Repair and Lease scheme continue and target of 500 units per year being set.
“Peter McVerry Trust also welcomes the move to extend the period for converting vacant commercial buildings to social housing up to 2025 as well a move to enhance measures to reuse of over the shops spaces.”
“This emphasis on regeneration is also hugely important in terms of the climate emergency and the necessary shift to a more sustainable society. Reusing existing structures uses less carbon, avoids demolishing buildings and creating 30% of our landfill materials and also puts people back into the centre of our towns and cities.”
“We welcome the 18 distinct actions on homelessness set out in Housing for All. These measures which reflect the growing cross Government commitment to tackling homelessness will allow Peter McVerry Trust together with our partners in statutory agencies and local government the best possible opportunity to tackle the issue.”
“The increase in Housing First, and the expansion of the outreach programme together with greater emphasis and clarity on the delivery of one-bedroom homes in each local authority will all go a long way to achieving the target of ending homelessness by 2030.”
Mr Doyle said the charity particularly welcomed the continued growth and expansion of Housing First, a model designed to help people sleeping rough and the long-term users of hostels.
“Housing First is playing a key role in helping address the needs of people sleeping rough and others with complex support needs. In Housing for All we are delighted to see that over the next five years a target of 1,200 new Housing First tenancies has been set, and commitments made to mainstream the current criminal justice Housing First pilot project as well as establishing new outreach teams in all Housing First clusters across the country.
All these measures will reduce rough sleeping and also make sure that the most vulnerable people are housed.”