6,800 on List: Housing Action Needed in Kildare
I am re-posting here the recent Housing Action Kildare statement, with thanks to the rest of the group;
Housing Action Kildare: ‘Council Must Cease Rationing Emergency Accommodation’
“Housing Action Kildare delivered a list of demands to the Director of Housing in Kildare County Council on Thursday. In light of the escalating housing crisis and the desperate plight of so many families due to the chronic social housing list here in Kildare. We at Housing Action Kildare a community based support group, insist that these housing demands are implemented as a matter of urgency.
1. Do not refuse emergency accommodation on the grounds that KCC have no funding for it.
2. If tenants are forced onto the HAP system they should have immediate inclusion on a social housing transfer list that reflects their previous position and does not in any way disadvantage their standing on the housing list.
3. Use some vacant housing stock for families in emergency accommodation instead of hotel rooms so that they could at least have cooking facilities while they are waiting for permanent accommodation.
4. Increase the number of social houses that are to be built or directly provided by Kildare County Council.
We will continue to campaign on these issues until adequate housing provisions have been implemented by Kildare County Council.
Commenting on the case, Cllr Brendan Young said: “The fact that a homeless woman has taken Kildare Co Council to the High Court after she and her children were refused emergency accommodation is shocking but not surprising. The Council’s homeless team works on the basis that not everybody who presents as homeless will get emergency accommodation because, we have been told, the Council does not have enough of a homelessness budget. So staff are forced into rationing accommodation. No criteria are laid down for deciding who gets somewhere to stay, it effectively depends on whether staff think you deserve it – or not.
“Landlords need to start treating potential tenants equally and stop discriminating against those in receipt of rent supports, otherwise this housing crisis will continue to get worse” added Ind Cllr Joanne Pender. These issues affect so many people in County Kildare and the council needs to amend their housing policies and take action to assist 6866 people who are on the housing list in Kildare and in emergency accommodation for indefinite lengths of time. The numbers are rising each week with only a few families being housed.”