The Social Housing Rental Service should be fast-tracked and turned into a nationwide iniative, according to Galway Simon CEO Bill Griffin.
Although welcoming the proposal to establish the SHRS as a single point of contact for landlords, people who are homeless, and local authorities, Mr Griffin said this week that he was “very dissappointed” that it was only a Dublin initiative, adding that the service should be delivered nationwide as there are a high number of people in housing crisis.
“We welcome the proposed Social Housing Strategy due out later this year but we are calling for it to be fast tracked in light of the current high numbers of people in housing crisis. It is also essential that there are resources attached to this plan to ensure that it can deliver the much needed units urgently. Ring fencing of a portion of all social housing units for people moving out of homelessness is a must.
“Last year there was a rise of 24 per cent of people using the services of the Simon Communities in Ireland. This figure is also reflected in Galway where a recent Daft report showed that rents had increased by 5.6 per cent.
“As a result of this we are seeing people every day, who are now at their wits’ end trying to meet increasing rent costs. These people are from across all ages and economic backgrounds who never dreamed that that would need the support of Simon. People find themselves in situations where they cannot afford to turn on their electricity, heat their home, or cannot afford proper adequate food for themselves and their families. From graduates to pensioners, from families to single men and women there is no one social group who is not being affected,” said Mr Griffin.
Urging people who are concerned to take action today, Mr Griffin added: “People living in Galway can make a real difference to the lives of those living in incredibly difficult situations in our own community by taking a very simple step, either running or walking in our upcoming “Kick Assphalt” 10k or 10 mile run, by donating unwanted items to either of our shops, or by volunteering with Galway Simon.”