Minister O’Sullivan Launches Focus Ireland Annual Report

Emphasises Government commitment to tackle homelessness

in a more planned and effective way


Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan TD, today (Thursday 26th April) launched Focus Ireland’s annual report for 2011.


Speaking at the launch Minister O’Sullivan confirmed her intention to realise the Programme for Government commitment to end long-term homelessness.


“The Programme for Government commits the Government to ending long-term homelessness and I see this as one of my main priorities as Minister for Housing and Planning.  To achieve this goal the Government is committed to reviewing the Homeless Strategy and to adopting a ‘housing led’ approach to homelessness.  Work is now almost complete on updating the strategy and the review will take account of demands on existing housing, assess how best to continue providing services and seek to ensure more effective prevention strategies.”


“As a Government, we share the belief that prevention is better than cure. We are determined to re-orientate our policies to ensure that homelessness is tackled in a more planned and strategic way.  I want to see a priority given to providing housing and resettlement solutions and supports rather than managing people in long term homeless facilities. Together with the voluntary organisations working in the sector, I want to foster a culture that promotes independent living on an equitable basis for all those in need of social housing supports.”


“The Focus Ireland Annual Report highlights the important work that Focus Ireland has carried out in 2011.  In particular, I welcome Focus Ireland’s partnership approach with other organisations working with homeless people and those at risk of homelessness.  This partnership approach ensures that the talents and expertise of individual organisations are put to the best use to serve the interests of our citizens.  As we strive to end homelessness, even given the immense financial pressures on Exchequer funds, this collaborative approach will become increasingly important.


“As citizens we are all entitled to dignity and respect.  Homelessness often erodes those basic aspects of citizenship and that is one of my motivations in striving to end homelessness.  In 2012 we have ensured that the level of funding for frontline services has been maintained.  Also in Dublin, where the concentration of homelessness is most acute, it is widely accepted that there is sufficient short-term accommodation to ensure that no-one need sleep rough.


“However, a real solution to homelessness must look beyond short-term measures that provide temporary shelter.   We need long-term solutions.  Recently new arrangements have been put in place with Dublin City Council that provides for a new approach which aims at accelerating the delivery of housing solutions to end long term homeless. It must be noted that there is no single solution to increasing the level of social housing supply for people who are homeless and maximising delivery will require flexible and diverse approaches.


“The ‘old way of doing things’ won’t deliver the results we all want to see.  New approaches to homelessness and specifically the delivery of long-term housing solutions are required.  I look forward to working with Focus Ireland, and other organisations in sector, to achieve the Government’s commitment to ending homelessness.

Comments are closed.