Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness to make housing available for all in Westmeath who seek a home - Burke

Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness to make housing available for all in Westmeath who seek a home - Burke

Fine Gael TD Peter Burke says that the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, launched today, aims to make housing available for everyone in Westmeath who is seeking a home.

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney today published ‘Rebuilding Ireland – an Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness’, following government approval of this comprehensive and ambitious plan at today’s Cabinet meeting.

He was joined by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe.

“I meet with constituents daily who attend my clinics or call into my office in Mullingar in relation to housing difficulties," said Deputy Burke.

"Westmeath County Council is doing its utmost to house families and individuals but there is no getting away from the fact that there are just not enough units available for the current demand.

"It is heartbreaking to see families being evicted from homes which are often being put on the market and having nowhere else to turn. Helping people to find solutions to homelessness is the biggest struggle I face in my job.

"I believe in this plan by the government and I think if recommendations are moved on speedily, the plan launched today can make a real difference and end homelessness across both the constituency and the country.

“This Plan provides a multi-stranded, action-oriented approach to achieving many of the Government’s key housing objectives, as set down in the Programme for Government.

It aims to:
• Significantly increase the supply of social housing in Westmeath, with 47,000 units delivered nationally by 2021 and an investment of €5.35 billion
• Ensure more homes are built in Westmeath and to double the output of overall housing from the current levels, to at least 25,000 per annum by 2020
• To tackle homelessness in Westmeath in a comprehensive manner

“This whole-of-government plan will be overseen by a dedicated cabinet committee, chaired by An Taoiseach. While the immediate priority is housing homeless families, many of whom are currently living in hotels, all aspects of the housing system in the county are addressed within the plan.

"This means that young people in Westmeath looking to rent or buy, Westmeath families looking to trade up or down, students who need good accommodation, older people, people with a disability and others are all encompassed within the Plan and its 84 time-bound actions.

“The plan addresses all aspects of the housing system in Westmeath, under five Pillars:
• Address Homelessness,
• Accelerate Social Housing,
• Build More Homes,
• Improve the Rental sector, and
• Utilise Existing Housing.

“This action plan underpins Fine Gael’s commitment to end the housing shortage in Westmeath and to tackle homelessness. Providing homes for everyone in Westmeath and around the country is this government’s number one priority.

"Fine Gael is committed to a range of measures to reverse the chronic undersupply of new homes, which is making new home purchase and rents in the region increasingly unaffordable and driving more people into homelessness.

"I am committed to ensuring that as a result of this plan everyone in the entire county and constituency will have access to quality and affordable housing.

"Today’s launch is just our starting point. We must now move from words to actions. The actions, funding and structures are now in place to ensure we make early and substantial progress on the journey to fixing Westmeath and Longford’s broken housing sector.”

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