Charity Urges Cowen To Tackle Homelessness In Budget

Focus Ireland launched its Pre-Budget Submission today and called for the Government to ensure that Budget 2008 takes direct action to tackle homelessness.

The homeless and housing charity said one key action for the Government to take to help increase provision of housing is to frontload €2bn under the National Development Plan to provide at least 10,000 local authority homes next year.

The charity’s submission has been issued to the Government and all members of the Oireachtas.

Focus Ireland and the other main voluntary organisations estimate there are 5,000 people who are homeless at any one time in Ireland. The most recent figures show over 43,000 households on social housing waiting lists nationwide.

“People living with issues such as mental health or addiction problems can often fall through the gaps in the system as can others who face difficult circumstances such as leaving care,” said Focus Ireland chief executive Declan Jones.

“Without direct support they often end up going through the system from pillar to post and back again through a range of services, institutions and emergency accommodation or can even end up sleeping rough.”

“There have been some improvements in recent years but if we are to break the cycle of repeat homelessness and also prevent people becoming homeless in the first place more effectively we need to deliver the services and housing options that are required to achieve this successfully.”