At least 50,000 more social housing units needed - report

Committee makes 23 priority recommendations to tackle housing, homelessnes crisis

A new report on housing says the State’s social housing stock should be increased by at least 50,000 units. Photograph: PA

A new report on housing says the State’s social housing stock should be increased by at least 50,000 units. Photograph: PA

 

The State’s social housing stock should be increased “by at least 50,000” units, the report from the Oireachtas Housing and Homelessness Committee recommends.

The much anticipated report also says the planning process for social housing - known as the Part 8 process - should be reduced from 8 to 6 weeks.

It calls on Minister for Housing Simon Coveney to establish a Housing Procurement Agency to “assist local authorities and approved housing bodies to deliver their social housing programme through supports including funding and procurement”.

The committee, which has been meeting for nine weeks, makes 23 priority recommendations to address the spiralling housing and homelessness crisis, and more than 50 in total.

The 155-page report has nine chapters covering such areas as mortgage difficulties, homelessness, the private rented sector and legal issues.

It calls for a system of rent certainty by linking rent reviews to an index “such as the consumer price index (CPI) and increased security of tenures,” and says before the summer recess and “at a minimum” the Government should “quickly implement the programme for Government’s strategy to deal with mortgage arrears”.

People Before Profit-Anti Austerity Alliance committee member, Ruth Coppinger, is to issue a dissenting statement on the report on Friday morning.