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Housing crisis solutions

A cross-party committee set-up by the government  to tackle the housing crisis in Ireland has published its report. Established in April, the report calls for “most ambitious social housing project in the history of the State”.

Solutions highlighted for Minister for housing Simon Coveney to implement include increasing the  rent supplement rate, rapid investment in 100,00 social housing units,  the creation of a housing procurement agency and a return of local authorities building homes directly. The report also recommends linking rent controls to consumer price index.Last year the four Dublin councils spent €46 million on emergency accommodation.

Committee Chairman, John Curran TD, said “Homelessness remains a very real issue in Ireland and, as well as those people sleeping rough, it is also important to acknowledge the swathes of people who are not immediately identifiable as homeless – those who are waiting on housing lists, living in temporary, unsuitable accommodation and those desperately trying to find affordable rental accommodation”.

The much maligned NAMA is mentioned in the report with the idea of to be changing its governance allow it turn its portfolio of properties into social housing. Currently  reviewing mortgage lending rules the Central Bank is urged to help first-time buyers more  and the government is told to enact legislation to stop home repossessions.

Committee member Barry Cowen said all the recommendations could be achieved with the help of  a housing authority empowered to tackle any planning hurdles.

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