Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Environment and Local Government Barry Cowen TD has called on the Government to give serious consideration to the idea of using modular homes strictly on a temporary basis to tackle the growing homeless crisis.
Deputy Cowen made the comments after a site visit to Dublin City Council’s modular home display in Fairview alongside Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy TD.
“It is nothing short of a national disgrace that the Government has allowed the homeless crisis to escalate to the level it has now reached. There are over 600 families currently living in emergency accommodation in Dublin alone. Everyone recognises that this is a growing emergency, with the exception of Minister Alan Kelly,” said Deputy Cowen.
“The Government needs to take radical steps to help alleviate the homeless crisis. The use of modular homes to tackle the emergency strictly on a short term basis should be seriously considered.
“I had the opportunity to visit a number of these modular homes in Dublin. There is no comparison between the utility and comfort offered by these units and conditions present in emergency accommodation, a view also shared by Fr Peter McVerry.
“I am calling on Minister Alan Kelly to consider using these modular homes as a temporary measure to ease the homeless crisis. Currently the four Dublin local authorities are spending €4.5m on emergency accommodation in the capital. This money would be better spent on providing modular homes strictly on a short term basis, alongside investment in the provision of permanent homes.
“We must ensure that these modular units are made available to families without delay. Concerns about planning are valid, however emergency measures need to be taken to tackle the homeless crisis. Planning should be fast tracked to ensure there are no unnecessary delays.
“Each of the Dublin local authorities needs to make sure that the modular homes are adequately serviced should they get the go ahead to use them. Adequate lighting, sewerage, walkways and transport need to be provided and their use must coincide with meaningful investment in permanent housing.”