The number of social houses in Ireland needs to double by 2030, according to Social Justice Ireland.
The group has released a 10-point plan to help deal with the chronic housing shortage nationally, which includes building 140,000 social housing units over the next 10 years, and stopping the sale of state land which could be used for homes.
The number of people looking for social housing has increased by 33 per cent since 2016.
Ireland’s housing crisis has not gone away.
This is just “one manifestation of Ireland’s current housing crisis and the huge failure of Government policy in this area” according to Colette Bennett, economic and social analyst with Social Justice Ireland.
Ms Bennett added: “There are more than 170,000 social housing units in Ireland today. This needs to be doubled if the country is to reach a target of 20 per cent of all housing being made up of social housing. Government needs to set a target to reach that level by 2030 if it is to genuinely solve Ireland’s housing crisis."
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is currently developing a new housing strategy Housing for All.
Social Justice Ireland chief executive Dr Seán Healy said: “Ireland’s housing crisis has not gone away. The development of a new strategy is an opportunity to get it right, to move away from housing as an asset to housing as a home. Decent, affordable housing should be central to the formation of a new Social Contract and a new strategy should underpin that.”
The plan also encourages Government to acquire an equity stake in properties in mortgage distress.
New housing strategy
Ms Bennett added: “Emergency housing policy in response to Covid-19 saw the introduction of a ban on evictions; a prohibition on rent increases; payment breaks for mortgage-holders; a decrease in the numbers of people accessing emergency homelessness accommodation and the return of properties for long-term rent from the short-term holiday lettings market. However, as restrictions lift, so too will these housing protections. We need a new housing strategy that is fit for purpose and is at the scale required to really address Ireland’s housing crisis.”