By Barry Lord @bazneto
The burgeoning cost of re-housing Ireland’s homeless citizens came under fresh scrutiny from the Anti-Austerity Alliance today.
AAA leader Paul Murphy TD commented in response to news that a rapid housing project in Ballymun, one of the poorest areas in the capital, could cost more than double the estimate projected by a Labour minister for modular housing.
“It’s crazy that the costs for emergency housing now appears to be twice what Labour Minister Alan Kelly previously announced,” said Murphy.
It makes no sense to spend €240,000 to build a rapid home, when an already built and permanent home can be bought for significantly less. The councils should be permitted by the Government to use their resources to buy houses immediately, as well as engaging in home building, using the resources of NAMA.
Minister Kelly had called for more rapid build houses to be constructed in February of this year and asked local authorities to support this.
The rapid housing scheme is supported by Anthony Flynn, director/co-founder of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), a group established to provide resources to Dublin’s homeless.
Mr Flynn hit back at Paul Murphy’s remarks and urged people to consider the bigger picture.
I think Paul Murphy should go back to the drawing board on this one, said Flynn. The figures that he was upset about were based on a standard estimate for a modular home model.
“The final figures in this instance may be well off the original estimated cost but we have to build and only building will address the homeless problem. It’s important that there be a good standard model of social housing. Not building is not the answer.”
Flynn added: “For too long homelessness has been treated like a black hole. People paying what is in the end dead money to private landlords, hotels and B&Bs to keep a roof over their head. Building takes families out of these situations and gives people a level of civility; access to basic resources, running water and cleaning facilities, not crammed into a single room with a single bathroom.”
The group called on people to make homelessness an issue for the General Election posting a photo of a young child and quoting the high number of homeless children as a vital election matter.
ICHH provides a frontline outreach service covering the city of Dublin made up of volunteers who assist rough sleepers helping to find them beds.
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