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€10m budget boost to end 'scourge of homelessness'

But rent supplement levels have not been touched.

HOMELESS SERVICES HAVE been given a boost in Budget 2015, with a €10.5 million increase in additional funds.

This 20% increase brings the total annual spend to €55.5 million per year, back up to 2010 levels.

Over the last number of years, the fund has been cut, flying in the face of the Government’s commitment to end homelessness by 2016.

Scourge of homelessness 

The Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly said he is conscious of the need for immediate action to address the scourge of homelessness.

“The availability and supply of secure, affordable and adequate housing is essential in ensuring sustainable tenancies and ending long-term homelessness,”  said Kelly.

The boost in funding will ensure that the increased demand for homeless services are effectively addressed and will assist in meeting commitments outlined in the Implementation Plan on the State’s Response to Homelessness, said the Government.

The Simon Community said it welcomes the Government’s acknowledgment of the severity of the homelessness crisis and that it has seen fit to increase the homelessness budget.

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However, the charity wonders if this will be enough to deliver sufficient levels of housing with the supports required in face of growing demand and funding pressures around the country.

“Rent supplement levels are a huge problem, both pushing people into homelessness and preventing people from leaving homelessness, and this Budget does not appear to address the problem at all.”

Read: Saving to buy your first home? Michael Noonan had some good news for you…>

Read: There will be €2.2 BILLION spent on social housing in the next three years>

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