Timeline: Plans and pledges as the homeless crisis worsens

Number of homeless people in the State has jumped from 3,258 to 8,160 in three years

Former minister for housing Simon Coveney launching the “Rebuilding Ireland” plan which pledged 130,000 new social housing units by 2020. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Former minister for housing Simon Coveney launching the “Rebuilding Ireland” plan which pledged 130,000 new social housing units by 2020. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

July 2014: The number of homeless people in the State stands at 3,258.

October 2014: More than €800 million is allocated for housing programmes in the budget while funding for homelessness services is increased by €10.5 million to €55.5 million.

November 2014: “Social Housing Strategy 2020: Support, Supply and Reform” is published. The six-year strategy committed to providing 35,000 new social housing units at a cost of €3.8 billion.

November 2014: 3,607 homeless people in the State.

December 1st, 2014: Death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie (43) near Leinster House. He died after consuming a mix of drugs and alcohol.

December 9th, 2014: Government’s 20-point action plan to tackle emergency and short-term homelessness published. It commits an extra €20 million in expenditure and includes the immediate provision of 260 additional emergency beds for people sleeping rough in Dublin.

October 2015: A total of €811 million is allocated four housing programmes and the continued delivery of the Social Housing Strategy 2020 in the budget. Then minister for the environment Alan Kelly announces 500 modular houses will be provided as emergency housing for homeless families.

November 2015: 5,324 homeless people in the State.

November 10th, 2015: A New Deal for Tenants is announced by Kelly and minister for finance Michael Noonan. The plan sets out rent certainty measures including increasing the rent review periods from one to two years, increased notice periods for rent review and greater protection for tenants.

December 2015: Government publishes Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments. Amid claims that excessive size standards were deterring construction, new standards are created setting one-bed apartments at 45sq m (484sq ft), two-bed apartments at 73sq m (786sq ft) and three-bed apartments at 90sq m (969sq ft).

January 2016: Kelly announces a further allocation of funding of €182 million for the delivery of nearly 1,000 extra social housing units.

May 2016: Simon Coveney is appointed minister for housing

July 2016: 6,525 homeless people in the State.

July 2016: “Rebuilding Ireland – Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness” is announced. It says 200 rapid-build homes will be completed by the end of 2016 and another 800 by the end of 2017, while 130,000 new social housing units are pledged by 2020.

October 2016: The Government’s Help-to-Buy housing scheme is announced in the budget. The scheme provides for a refund of income tax and Deposit Interest Retention Tax (Dirt) paid over the previous four tax years for first-time buyers.

November 2016: Central Bank rules on mortgage lending are changed. From January 2017 the ceiling on the loan-to-value ratio for all first-time buyers is set at 90 per cent.

December 2016: Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 is signed into law.

It includes the Tyrrelstown Amendment which decrees that where a landlord proposes to sell 10 or more units in a development within six months the sales would be conditional on existing tenants being able to remain in the property unless there were exceptional circumstances.

The Act also allows for Rent Pressure Zones (RPZ) whereby rents are only able to rise by a maximum of 4 per cent annually. Dublin and Cork city were the first RPZs announced.

December 2016: Apollo House occupation puts an additional focus on homelessness.

January 2017: 7,167 homeless people in the State.

June 2017: Eoghan Murphy is appointed Minister for Housing.

June 2017: Introduction of temporary new fast-track planning arrangements for large-scale housing developments of 100 units or more. Under the regulations, developers are able to submit planning applications for large housing developments directly to An Bord Pleanála instead of to the local planning authorities.

July 2017: 8,160 homeless people in the State.

Last week: Death takes place of three homeless people: Jack Watson, Jennifer Dennehy and Danielle Carroll. Murphy calls a housing summit of county council managers and senior officials.

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