By Conor Kenny
New proposals from Dublin City Council will aim to stop prioritising homeless families over other candidates on the social housing waiting list.
The council claims this move is to discourage families from taking prolonged stays in emergency accommodation. Dublin City Council will encourage families to rent in the private sector through the use of housing assistance payments.
Brendan Kenny, the councils head of housing said; ‘We are concerned that families will endure a prolonged period in emergency accommodation and not consider alternatives, in order to secure what they believe to be the most sustainable option for their family, ie social housing.’ Mr Kenny said that the council simply does not have enough social housing available to accommodate these people.
Research into the social housing waiting list found that homeless people had secured social housing ahead of people who had been on the waiting list for a longer period. Also, a number of people on the social housing waiting list are now at risk of being disqualified as they no longer meet income limits. As well as that, people living in overcrowded accommodations have been waiting for long periods to be transferred to more suitable accommodations.
However, the State has been criticised over its reliance on the private rental market. Some commentators have claimed that it has led to the homeless crisis. Father Peter McVerry of the homeless charity Peter McVerry Trust criticised the proposal. He said ‘Many homeless families have come from the private rented sector, they’ve been evicted for a variety of reasons, and now Dublin City Council is telling them ‘you’ve got to go back to the private rented sector if you want to get permanent accommodation’.
Dublin City Councils housing committee is expected to be asked to approve these proposals today.