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Snippet Contents:

One of the biggest challenges we face as a country is to ensure that people can access housing that is affordable and secure. The peace of mind that comes from having somewhere people can call home, where they are not living in constant fear of the next rent rise or an eviction notice, is invaluable. Having a place that is home allows families to plan ahead and provides the stability and security that enables communities to thrive.
The lessons from Covid are clear. We need high-quality housing and sustainable communities with good infrastructure, amenities, parks, open spaces, schools and public transport. There must be no going back to the failed policies of subsidising private developers, which have been an abject failure. We must build public housing that is affordable to buy and rent on public land.
Let us be very clear. A housing crisis is exactly what we have. Almost 9,000 people have become homeless and are living in emergency accommodation. More than 2,500 children are living without the security of a place they call home, often in cramped conditions in hotel rooms. We are now spending €4 million every week on emergency accommodation for people who have become homeless. Increasingly, the Government is relying on private operators to provide emergency accommodation, where making a profit rather than providing support is the main objective. People who have become homeless are met by private security guards instead of qualified support staff and are subjected to dehumanising rules, including, in some instances, not being allowed to speak to other residents. There is a complete lack of independent inspection and regulation of these private operators. This budget continues the failed policy of putting millions of euro into the hands of private operators of emergency accommodation.
Renters in Ireland have faced some of the highest levels of rent increases in the European Union. Rents have increased by over 40% in the past 13 years, which is double the European average.