Cork Simon Community calls for 'decisive action' on vacant homes in Budget 2023

An enhanced Repair and Lease Scheme is one of ten priority areas identified in the Simon Communities of Ireland’s pre-budget submission.
Cork Simon Community calls for 'decisive action' on vacant homes in Budget 2023

“We’ve seen a significant rise this year in the number of people experiencing homelessness – here in Cork and nationwide,” campaigns and communications manager with Cork Simon, Paul Sheehan, said. Pic: Larry Cummins.

Cork Simon Community is hoping “decisive action” in targeting vacant homes for social housing will form part of today's budget announcements.

An enhanced Repair and Lease Scheme is one of ten priority areas identified in the Simon Communities of Ireland’s pre-budget submission.

“We’ve seen a significant rise this year in the number of people experiencing homelessness – here in Cork and nationwide,” campaigns and communications manager with Cork Simon, Paul Sheehan, said.

“The cost of housing is the single biggest issue pushing people into homelessness - and keeping them there for far too long.

“There simply aren’t enough homes coming on stream in the short to medium term.

“We’re urging the Government to take decisive action to put a programme in place to bring 5,000 vacant homes across the country back into use in 2023 through an enhanced Repair and Lease Scheme.

“We believe this alone would have a significant impact on reducing the number of people being pushed into homelessness as well as reducing the number of people stuck in long-term homelessness.” 

The re-introduction of protections in the private rental market implemented during the pandemic such as the rent freeze and the moratorium on evictions is also included in the charity’s pre-budget submission.

“These measures had a positive impact on the number of people being pushed into homelessness; that number started to increase again as soon as they were lifted,” Mr Sheehan said.

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