There may be some relief for people in rented accommodation over the coming months as Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly is to bring fresh ideas before the Cabinet.
Speaking in relation to the homeless crisis, the Minister, who also has responsibility for housing, told the Tipperary Star that the country was “sort of caught in the perfect storm in relation to homelessness because of the situation with mortgages and rent”.
“Everyone knows my beliefs in relation to rents. I believe in bringing in rent certainty for a number of years while the market picks up while the vacuum that requires the number of houses that needs to be built is filled,” he said.
Minister Kelly said he will be bringing those views to Government in the coming weeks.
“I am doing a number of things. We are looking at ways of fast forwarding projects in relation to large scale developments, and not just public developments, but also social and private ones,” said the Labour Minister.
Meanwhile, he said that rural resettlement was a “serious runner” when it came to tackling homelessness. However, Minister Kelly said it was “not the panacea to homelessness”.
The idea was dismissed as “daft” by some politicians when it came to light at the end of August that it was on the agenda. Minister Kelly said it was wrong to link rural resettlement with homelessness, stating they needed to be separated out from each other.
“I think rural resettlement is a small part of the issue, but something that has been underused. I am sure there are a number of people - whether they are homeless or not - who may be in social housing and who could leave and come to rural areas for what may be seen as a better quality of life,” he said.
He pointed out that because people would leave one area, there would be a house left behind vacant for someone else. However, he was careful to say that the Government was “not talking about moving homeless people to rural Ireland”, and he “wouldn’t foresee whole estates of people moving.”
His view was that we should be looking at rural resettlement in a thorough way where people want to choose it as a way of life and want to contribute to a community.
See this week’s Tipperary Star for the full interview