Irish Homelessness 'Gone In Five Years', Says Minister

The Irish government has unveiled its long-awaited homelessness strategy, which has promised to eradicate the number of rough-sleepers in five years.

The announcement was made amid a series of public spending cutbacks across government departments.

The strategy, named 'The Way Home', was launched yesterday by Housing Minister, Michael Finneran.

He called the scheme a "clear vision for the future, where the occurrence of homelessness is minimised".

The Simon Communities of Ireland welcomed the strategy's aim to cut adult homelessness but criticised the absence of a budget to underpin it.

Other groups working with the homeless say they are already experiencing major problems getting funding for services from the HSE.

The charity sector has called on stronger political commitment if the new strategy is to be successful.

The Housing Minister has not only pledged to wipe out homelessness, but also to ensure no one remains in emergency accommodation for longer than six months.

Minister Finneran argued that emergency accommodation was neither suitable in the long-term nor the most effective use of resources.

He has promised adequate access to social housing lettings.

However, Focus Ireland has said the government has already fallen behind social housing building targets.

These targets have been set to reduce the number of people currently on housing waiting lists.

Calls have now been made for a multi-agency approach to prevent the venerable in society from losing their homes through poverty, mental illness, addiction and family breakdowns.


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