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The first modular homes are being fast-tracked to be in place by Christmas

But where will they be put?

15/9/2015 New Solutions for Homeless Crisis A modular home on display. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE FIRST MODULAR housing units aimed at tackling the homelessness crisis will be in place by Christmas, the government has said.

While welcomed by homeless charities, this new form of temporary accommodation is considered a quick fix and not an answer to underlying issues.

A tender for the units was issued today.

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said 22 units will be in place by the middle of December. A further 128 units will then follow through a “fast-tracked procurement” process using powers from the Planning and Development Acts.

original (2) Six modular homes on display. Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

The remaining 350 units announced in Budget – with roughly €40 million allotted to the project – will follow using a standard procurement process.

According to the tender, the units will house five people in a three bed, two-storey unit.

It is not yet clear where in Dublin the units will be placed. Dublin City Council said more details will be revealed after the plan to put to councillors.

Focus Ireland, where the announcement was made today, said modular housing is a “huge and much needed improvement in the quality of emergency accommodation”.

“However, providing better emergency accommodation, welcome as it is, is not a solution to the actual problem of family homelessness,” chief executive Ashley Balbirnie said.

We still require urgent action on two fronts: prevention of homelessness and support for people to move back into a home of their own.

https://vine.co/v/eVBYag3pgnx

Minister Alan Kelly arriving at Focus Ireland in Dublin city centre.

“The number of families which are homeless has doubled in the last 12 months, and it doubled in the twelve months before that. At present there is no policy response from the Government to stop it from doubling in the next twelve months.”

Minister Alan Kelly was also pressed on the issue of rent certainty, as reports suggest his plan has effectively been sidelined.

Both he and Minister for Finance Michael Noonan have strenuously denied reports of a rift between the two as discussions continue without any measures being announced.

13/10/2015. Budget Day 2016 Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Today’s the Irish Examiner quoted a senior Labour party spokesperson who was unsure if Kelly’s plans will come to fruition, declining to call it a ‘red line issue’

The minister told reporters that the party fully backs him:

“I have 100% support from my party and that includes every single person in that party.”

“Rent is, in the short term, the biggest issue in relation to preventing homelessness so we’re certainly in ongoing discussions.

Something will have to be done.

No rift: Noonan and Kelly say they get on grand >

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Nicky Ryan

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