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National strategy launched to tackle rough sleeping in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Homelessness / iStock_49937818

Housing and health ministers have welcomed the launch this week of a national strategy designed to reduce and end rough sleeping and long-term homelessness.

Under this initiative the so-called ‘Housing First’ approach pioneered in the capital by Focus Ireland and the Peter McVerry Trust will be extended to every county in Ireland. For the first time every local authority will have a target. Nationally, the aim is to cater for about 650 individuals.

The priority is to support a person who has experienced homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible, where they can receive the tenancy and health supports they require. Housing First recognises that a stable home provides the basis for recovery in other areas. 

Housing minister Eoghan Murphy said: “By providing housing and wraparound health supports simultaneously to some of the most vulnerable homeless individuals, we are seeking to ensure that they remain out of homelessness permanently. 

Housing First recognises the need for a coordinated response to homelessness by housing and health authorities and I have worked closely with minister Simon Harris since coming into office on providing a more coordinated response in this area. The delivery of the plan will be a joint effort between our two departments, the local authorities and the HSE”.

Murphy has been under increasing political pressure recently over the government’s response to the housing and homelessness crisis. 

This week he survived a motion of no confidence in the Dáil.

Image credit | iStock