The launch of Rebuilding Ireland has just surpassed three years. Many factors have changed since the original plan was initiated. Some figures that were estimated at the time of the launch for Rebuilding Ireland are now out of date. Rebuilding Ireland needs to be re-examined for optimal use because it is not performing as it was initially supposed to.
When the plan was originally drafted, it was predicted that the current number of homeless people would be 65% lower than the current number. The plan was not originally supposed to solve the homeless problem of this magnitude (10,000+ people) which is one of the reasons why it is ineffective. Everybody that is involved in the housing crisis believes this number is lower than what the current statistic is and is not an accurate reflection. with that are not included in this study are people who are crowd surfing, people doubling up with their family, and people sleeping rough. In addition, the 800 people that have been granted refugee or protection are not calculated for.
The prior Minister for Housing signaled while he was the minister that commercial hotels would be used as emergency accommodation for the homeless during an emergency situation. This is an example for the housing department not delivering upon their promise.
Originally, most of the homelessness was centered in Dublin, but now Ireland is becoming more urbanized and all eight regions have varying forms of homelessness. All the regions, not including Dublin, have increased their homelessness statistics by 225% since July 2016.
Another outdated part of Rebuilding Ireland includes the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) program. The families that are receiving HAP usually receive dreadful housing quality, no security for length of tenure, and additional hidden fees on top of costs. Also, instead of building additional properties through the public, the government is subsidizing and incentivizing the private sector to deliver properties. If the government owned the some of the social housing properties than rate hikes and hidden fees would not be happening. Currently, an approximate of 2.3 million Euros are provided to landlords to meet rent prices. Instead of spending all this taxpayer money, this price tag could build 10 publicly owned houses every day.
The Rebuilding Ireland project has spent more than 2.5 billion Euros to subsidize private rentals and keep price tags down. In addition, the state does not own a single extra publicly-owned house. Cutting out the middleman and taking ownership in this market could increase efficiency and stabilize the current housing crisis.
The minister for finance on 17 December 2017 stated that the housing and homeless issue is the biggest crisis Ireland has faced this generation. Rebuilding Ireland has not had the large impact it was supposed to originally and now has become outdated. The government needs to realize that there is more to the housing crisis than just increasing supply. Housing needs to be provided in different styles because paying developers is not in the best interest of the people.