Tánaiste wants the Dublin bedsit ban reviewed

Reduction in bedsits has ‘undoubtedly’ put pressure on homes available

Tánaiste Joan Burton  said the decision to ban traditonal bedsits had been taken by the previous government ‘in good faith for the best of reasons’ but it had effectively closed down many bedsits, particularly in the Dublin area.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said the decision to ban traditonal bedsits had been taken by the previous government ‘in good faith for the best of reasons’ but it had effectively closed down many bedsits, particularly in the Dublin area.

 

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she would like to see a review of the ban on bedsits in place in Dublin in the wake of the current homeless crisis.

Ms Burton said the decision to ban traditonal bedsits had been taken by the previous government “in good faith for the best of reasons” but it had effectively closed down many bedsits, particularly in the Dublin area, a decision she was “anxious to see reviewed”.

However, the chief executive of the housing body Threshold, Bob Jordan, said the impression was being given that there were “hundreds or thousands” of bedsits lying vacant, but that this was not the case.

Mr Jordan said the issue with these properties was not around facilities, such as the requirement for each unit to have a private bathroom, but the vast majority had either failed fire safety regulations or had structural issues.

These included properties where damp was a problem and those with mould growing on ceilings and walls, as well as buildings which were liable to collapse.

He said the standards, introduced in 2008 to improve the quality of private rental accommodation, had been largely successful.

“Rolling back on these regulations would not increase the supply of accommodation for vulnerable people and would therefore have no impact on homelessness, except maybe to make it worse because vulnerable people would be living in a worse standard of accommodation that they have been entitled to up to now”.

Ms Burton made her comments at an event to launch a yearbook compiled by the Institute of Public Administration held in Buswell’s hotel, across the road from the doorway in which the body of homeless man Jonathan Corrie was discovered earlier this week.

Ms Burton extended her sympathies to his loved ones. “I know that he was one of the people sleeping rough with whom there had been a lot of interactions but it’s a very sad and very lonely death and my condolences go to his family and friends,” she said.

She said everybody’s aim was ensure that “a bed and a roof is available for everybody particularly as we approach Christmas”.

“The object of the Government in terms of the homelessness strategy is to end rough sleeping and to end the phenomenon of homelessness by 2016 and a great deal of additional funding . . . this year has actually been provided, it hasn’t reached everybody, there is a 25 per cent increase in the funding for next year,” she said.