While Article 43 of the Irish Constitution enshrines a right to private property subject to the requirements of the common good, there is no constitutional provision for a right to housing although the Constitutional Convention voted in 2014 to include it as an explicit right.
The recession has had a devastating impact on people’s right to a home given the current shortage in affordable, habitable and adequate housing. The unprecedented economic growth in Ireland during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years was fuelled by an excessive property market and unregulated and reckless lending practices on the part of financial institutions which resulted in unsustainable mortgages, over-indebtedness and the ultimate loss of family homes. The recession also highlighted inadequate housing provision in terms of social and private housing1 at a time when huge numbers of people are in need of state assistance. Prior to the recession there had been a move away from the provision of publicly funded housing to the effective privatisation of the housing market through a culture of home-ownership at any cost. During the economic boom, the State failed to maximise its resources which could have led to considerable progress in realising the right to housing for those most in need. The emergence of the everyday reality of family homelessness2 lends a startling new dimension to the recession.
In 2014, the Government allocated €271 million to expenditure on social housing,3 more than €344 million to the Rent Supplement scheme,4 €68 million over two years to a local authority home building initiative5 and an additional €20 million for the construction of mainstream social housing in local authority areas with the largest housing need.6 However, despite this financial commitment by Government, it is not enough to address the urgent and overwhelming need for appropriate housing solutions. Furthermore, those who are fortunate enough to have a roof over their head may be at risk of losing it due to rising rents, reductions in Rent Supplement rates, mounting mortgage arrears or even eviction. The continuing lack of action on the part of the State means that a huge number of people do not ‘live in security, peace and dignity’ as outlined in the guiding principles on security of tenure recently published by the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Incorporate a right to adequate housing into the Constitution, as articulated by the Committee in its General Comment No. 4.
Insecurity of Tenure
The mortgage arrears crisis has been one of the most striking aspects of the recession resulting in thousands of people either losing – or at risk of losing – their homes and finding themselves in significant debt. At the end of 2010, 145,400 properties were estimated to be in negative equity as a result of the overall decline in the property market.7
By the end of March 2014, a total of 132,217 mortgages on private homes were in arrears with eight per cent of those – more than 60,500 – in arrears for more than 360 days.8Although the overall number of these mortgages in arrears continued to decrease in this period, the number in long-term arrears over 720 days rose by five per cent.9 During the first quarter of 2014, 3093 applications were made to repossess family homes.10
In 2010, the Central Bank of Ireland introduced a Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) to address the growing problem of mortgage arrears. While the Code outlined how lenders are expected to deal with clients already in mortgage arrears, or at risk of falling behind on mortgage payments, through a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP),11 it was never placed on a statutory footing. Therefore, it is not clear to what extent a borrower can rely on a breach of the Code by the lender as a defence in repossession proceedings.12 In 2013, following what many consumer advocates described as an unsatisfactory consultation process, the Code was revised to the detriment of borrowers as it strengthened the lender’s ability to unilaterally determine whether the borrower is considered to be cooperative and if the mortgage is considered sustainable.13 The revised Code does not provide a fair and transparent decision-making process or appeals system to assist borrowers in arrears to successfully negotiate an equitable arrangement to address their arrears situation.
Borrowers in mortgage arrears find it difficult to access supports and, in particular, legal advice through the Legal Aid Board. In 2013, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS),14 a service to assist people in debt, dealt with 24,377 cases of which almost 10,000 related directly to mortgages.15 However, it is under significant pressure and requires further resources. Difficulties in accessing the state-funded civil legal aid scheme due to long waiting lists, a restrictive means-test and a narrow application of the merits test – the chances of your case being successful – for the purposes of a repossession case has resulted in people in mortgage arrears being denied legal advice and/or representation both in negotiations with lenders on loan restructures and in court proceedings for repossession of their family homes.16
The Mortgage Arrears Information and Advice Service, established in 2012, is an inadequate response to address the crisis as it provides only a limited service consisting of an information helpline and a consultation with an accountant who can explain the implications of a revised offer made by a lender but who cannot work with a borrower in difficulty to amend or improve the offer.17 Some landlords who have fallen into mortgage arrears have had their properties taken into receivership by the lender. This poses a number of risks to the tenant, namely insecurity of tenure, as the tenant is not protected by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 in these circumstances.18The tenant pays rent to the receiver, but is not afforded any legal protections by the receiver in return; for private rented tenants, these protections would include the return of the rental deposit, maintenance and repairs and appropriate notice periods.19 The Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB) is the designated government agency supporting those with difficulties - tenants and landlords alike - in the private rented markets. The PRTB provides a dispute resolution mechanism for landlords and tenants and issues determination orders on these disputes, without the need to go to court (except to implement orders). It too is hampered by budgetary and staff cuts which delay and can even deny access to a fair redress system if there have been any failures to comply with tenancy agreements.20
Unlike private tenants, tenants in social housing provided by local authorities do not have access to an independent complaints mechanism akin to the PRTB and cannot make a complaint to the Ombudsman as local authority housing falls outside of its remit. The Committee is clear that a person cannot be forcibly evicted from his or her home without appropriate legal protections and access to an adequate legal remedy.21 In 2012, the Supreme Court found that this lack of an independent review mechanism for a local authority tenant facing eviction was incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.22
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Amend the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears to allow a borrower full rights of appeal to an independent third party where a lender declines to offer an alternative repayment arrangement or offers an unsuitable arrangement.
Provide civil legal aid to borrowers or tenants in difficulty to ensure that they receive adequate legal advice and are supported in any legal proceedings which may result in repossession or eviction.
Access and Availability of Housing
The economic crisis and the impact of austerity measures have resulted in increased levels of homelessness. Official figures from May 2014 estimated that there were 2,663 people homeless in Ireland23 but organisations working with the homeless estimate that the true figure is almost double that.24 The number of families with children becoming homeless has increased consistently in recent years and in the first eight months of 2014 over 300 families in Dublin alone lost their home and were accommodated in hotel or guesthouse accommodation for extended periods.25 In September 2014, Dublin City Council suggested erecting prefabricated buildings on derelict sites as a short-term measure to address the housing shortage but homeless advocacy groups are concerned that this may end up being a longer-term solution if other action is not taken.26
The severe shortage of social housing is evident; in 2013, 89,872 households were assessed as needing housing support, almost twice as many as in 2005.27 Of these almost 90,000 households, there are estimates that approximately 30,000 households are in ‘high need’ of housing, with the remaining 60,000 households having difficulty affording the rent.28 The level of investment in social housing plummeted from €1.48 billion in 2008 to €235 million in 2013, these sums of social housing investment can be reflected in a social housing output of 8,700 units in 2007 and 767 units in 2013 which can explain to a great extent the current social housing crisis in Ireland.29 Significant delays in accessing social housing have only compounded the problem – 56 per cent of eligible households were waiting between one and five years with a further 17,769 households waiting more than five years to be accommodated.30 The Government’s Construction Plan 2020 estimates that approximately 5,000 new social housing units will be provided in 2014 through leasing and existing capital programmes31 but this falls far short of the Housing Agency’s annual requirement of 16,000 to satisfy demand in urban areas.32 Despite the obvious demand, capital funding allocated to the voluntary co-operative sector, which provides approximately 27,000 housing units,33 was reduced from €55.5 million to €40.925 million in 201434 as these not-for-profit entities are increasingly expected to be reliant on private borrowing.35
Rent Supplement is paid by the State towards the private-sector rent of people eligible for social housing where none is available. At the end of April 2014, there were approximately 77,000 Rent Supplement recipients; more than 42,000 were in receipt of the payment for 18 months or more.36 Rent limits are only reviewed every 18 months so they do not keep pace with an ever-changing rental market and due to rising rent costs, the maximum Rent Supplement limits are not sufficient.37
Rules introduced in 2011 made it more difficult for non-EU migrants to access the housing list, by requiring them to prove they can account for five years of being legally resident in Ireland with permission to remain (Stamp 4 residence permit) and are entitled to work without a permit. Migrants without a Stamp 4 are barred from accessing the housing list.38This has led to problems when accessing homeless services. However, despite a revision of these rules in 2012, there are concerns that they are misapplied, leading to inconsistency and incorrect decisions by local authorities.39
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Ensure adequate resources are provided to implement national homelessness policy in the short, medium and longer-term. In particular, appropriate and adequate resources should be provided for families losing their homes.
Provide adequate social housing in line with the advice given by the Housing Agency and alternatives to construction should be considered given the number of vacant houses in the State.
Invest in Approved Housing Bodies to help meet the demand for social housing.
Ensure migrants resident in the State can access the housing list if they have a housing need.
Carry out further training with Local Authority staff to ensure that rules are applied correctly and consistently.
Ensure all migrants in need regardless of their immigration status have access to homeless services.
In 2014, mainly due to a limited supply of housing, average rents had increased nationally by almost nine per cent and by 13 per cent in Dublin over the space of a year.40 The Rent Supplement payment has not been increased to keep pace with the increasing cost of rented property. The gap between actual rents and the limited Rent Supplement rate results in some tenants making undeclared and unlawful ‘top-up’ payments to their landlords in order to secure a place to live.41 It also results in some people being unable to afford rented accommodation at all. Despite evidence that people may fall into debt or rent arrears or may ultimately lose their accommodation,42 the Government has ruled out the introduction of rent limits instead favouring social housing construction.43
A new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to replace Rent Supplement for social welfare recipients with a long-term housing need is being introduced on a pilot phase. It will remove any disincentives to work for recipients moving back into the labour force. The new scheme, if implemented correctly, will be more sustainable for those with an immediate housing need, but this scheme alone cannot tackle the housing crisis for those in need of adequate, affordable and accessible housing, which the Government is obliged to provide under this Covenant does not address the current difficulty that rented property in Dublin and other parts of Ireland is unaffordable to those on low incomes or social welfare.
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Revise the Rent Supplement limits to adequately reflect the rental market to prevent the need for top-up payments by tenants.
Implement the Housing Assessment Payment to address urgent housing needs and put in place other measures to ensure that the payment does not become a long-term solution.
Introduce a system of rent controls to ensure that rent is affordable for tenants.
Quality of Available Housing
Regeneration of social housing estates in disadvantaged areas first began in 1997 supported by Dublin City Council. The regeneration model (which purported to address social and economic as well as physical improvement) was promoted and developed in other areas through the use of Public-Private Partnerships meaning that the Government relied on property developers to refurbish or regenerate housing in local authority estates.44 By 2006, €1 billion had been spent ‘on regeneration and remedial works for local authority housing’45 but even with this level of investment in infrastructure it is not clear that the aim to improve living and social conditions in local authority estates was achieved.46 As well as very little progress in physical regeneration, in many cases, poor education and employment levels and issues of community safety remain unaddressed.47 The decline in local authority regeneration projects was exacerbated by the property crash when private developers completely withdrew from the partnerships as they were no longer considered to be ‘economically viable’48and many of the developers were themselves in financial difficulty. Furthermore, government funding for National Regeneration Projects was reduced from €121 million in 2008 to €80 million in 2013.49In 2014, it was reduced again to €79.4 million, with only €11.6 million of this capital funding spent by June 2014.50 Only one of the designated regeneration projects has been completed to date with another at an advanced stage.51Following her 2011 visit, the UN Independent Expert on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights called on the Government to consider ‘adopting a legislative framework for a National Public Housing Estates Regeneration Programme’.52
In July 2014, FIDH (the International Federation of Human Rights), on behalf of a number of Irish organisations,53 lodged a Collective Complaint under the Revised European Social Charter, claiming that the quality of social housing available in Ireland is sub-standard.54 Tenants in local authority estates in 20 different communities used human rights indicators to collect evidence of sub-standard conditions including the presence of mould55 and waste-water/sewerage backup.56 Residents also reported some of the negative impacts that these conditions had on their overall health and well-being, including a high rate of respiratory illnesses, skin rashes and depression.57
Despitethe introduction of regulations in 200858and 200959 to ensure quality standards in rented accommodation, sub-standard accommodation and failure to carry out repairs in private rented accommodation remains a problem.60 In 2011, local authorities inspected 16,759 rented properties, of which one-third were found not to comply with minimum standards; however, legal action was initiated in just eight cases.61 The most common problems for tenants include broken or ineffective heating systems, poor ventilation and condensation and dampness, all of which often have a severe impact on their quality of life as well as making utility bills unaffordable and rendering accommodation uninhabitable.62 Research also demonstrates that poorer migrants are at risk of living in poor quality housing in the private rented sector with overcrowding, insecurity of tenure, damp conditions and housing in a state of disrepair.63
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Provide adequate funding for the completion of regeneration projects and adopt a legislative framework for a National Public Housing Estates Regeneration Programme.
Enforce regulations to maintain appropriate quality standards in rented accommodation so that the accommodation is habitable.
Travellers and Housing
In 2002, the Committee expressed concern at the number of Traveller families living by the roadside without access to basic facilities and at risk of eviction.64 The Independent Expert on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights reiterated this concern following her 2011 mission to Ireland.65 However, despite repeated calls for improvements in this area, budgetary allocations for Traveller-specific accommodation have instead been significantly reduced, with capital spending falling from €40 million in 2008 to just €4 million in 2013.66 This decline in funding is compounded by the consistent underspending by local authorities on Traveller Accommodation allocations; between 2007 and 2012, local authorities failed to spend more than €50 million of allocated funding on these schemes.67
The Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998 requires each local authority to prepare and adopt a five-year plan for the provision of Traveller accommodation in their area but these plans have consistently failed to meet their targets.68 The National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee monitors progress but does not have the power to implement the targets or impose sanctions if these targets are not met. The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002 makes it illegal for Travellers to set up a ‘temporary dwelling’ on either private of public land without permission. A person can be prosecuted with trespass under this legislation introduced at a time when more than 1000 families were living on the roadside.69
Although statistics indicate a significant increase in the number of Traveller families living in private rented accommodation - from 162 families in 2002 to 2829 families in 2012 - this is to the detriment of culturally appropriate alternatives and is contrary to the requirements outlined in the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998.70 Advocacy groups have expressed concern that increased use of private rented accommodation interferes with the traditional pattern of Traveller families living in close proximity to their extended families, leading to social isolation and mental health difficulties.71
A collective complaint to the European Committee on Social Rights has been submitted against the State alleging violations of Article 16 (the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection), Article 17 (the right of children and young persons to social, legal and economic protection) and Article 30 (the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion) of the European Social Charter.72 Ireland has opted out of Article 31 on the right to housing. The complaint refers to the Government’s failure to deliver on legislative provisions to provide adequate accommodation for Travellers while at the same time introducing and enforcing ‘increasingly regressive evictions legislation’.73
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Provide adequate funding for Traveller-specific accommodation and spend the budget for that purpose.
Opt into Article 31 of the Revised European Social Charter.
Repeal Section 24 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002.
Implement sanctions for local authorities who fail to meet their legal obligations under the Housing Traveller Accommodation Act 1998.
People with Disabilities and Housing
In 2011, the Government adopted the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability 2011-2016 but thousands of people with disabilities continue to have unmet housing needs.74 More than 106,000 persons with disabilities live alone and are aged 65 or over.75 Almost a quarter of people with disabilities living in private households did not have access to private transport to enable them to access amenities.76 The abolition in 2013 of the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grants - payments to cover transport costs for persons with disabilities - was seen as a disproportionate and unfair response to the Ombudsman’s finding that placing an upper age restriction on the payment was discriminatory.77 Research has found that the Personal Assistants Service, a service for people with significant physical and sensory disabilities mainly funded by the Health Service Executive, is ‘vulnerable to funding cuts and inappropriate forms of regulation’.78 In 2014, the HSE is expected to maintain the number of Personal Assistant hours at 1.3 million quarterly with 2.4 million Home Support hours delivered to people with disabilities.79
Since 2010, Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes have been cut by 42 per cent.80 In 2014, reforms to three grants paid by Local Authorities to make necessary changes to the homes of people with disabilities were restricted.81 The means-test was extended to include the income of all adults living in the house including adult children who may not be able to afford to move out of home. The changes were made even though a review by the Housing Agency in 2013 highlighted that the total number of grants awarded had fallen from 13,910 in 2010 to 9,190 in 2012 despite increased need.82 The Review Group also found that in 2012 the maximum amount of the grant was paid in a very small number of cases: six per cent in the case of Housing Adaptation for People with a Disability grants, 16 per cent of Mobility Aid grants and 11 per cent of Housing Aid for Older People grants.83
Living conditions and the treatment of people with disabilities in some residential centres has been found to be substandard and not person-centred. While it is a matter of concern that prior to 2013, these centres were not monitored by the State, the regulated inspections of these centres by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), since October 2013, is a welcome development. HIQA is now responsible for inspecting all residential centres for people with intellectual disabilities in accordance with legislation,84 regulations85 and standards.86 In 2014, only three of 190 registered centres were found to fully comply with the regulatory framework on inspection while 20 per cent of centres were found not to fulfil any of the required regulations and standards.87 In some centres there were concerns about general living standards including residents’ access to their own money and concerns related to food and nutrition. During an inspection of one particular centre with almost 100 residents, the inspectors noted issues arising around residents’ access to food: a number of residents presented as underweight, some residents had to wait up to 15 hours between meals and mealtimes were described as ‘distressing’.88 While a follow-up inspection did note ’significant improvements’,89 the same centre is under police investigation following the death of a resident where dehydration and malnutrition were ‘severe contributory factors’.90
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Ensure that the Housing Adaption Grants scheme is adequate to meet the need of persons with disabilities to live in dignity in their homes.
Provide adequate resources to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to enable it to conduct regular inspections of conditions in residential centres. Where gross violations of rights occur ensure that these are investigated fully by the appropriate agencies and sanctions are imposed for non-compliance with quality standards.
Direct Provision Accommodation for Asylum Seekers
The conditions in which direct provision residents live has repeatedly come to the attention of both UN and Council of Europe human rights bodies and representatives as failing to provide an adequate standard of living.91 At the end of 2013, there were 34 direct provision centres operating in 16 counties. The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA), the section of the Department of Justice and Equality which is responsible for administering the direct provision and dispersal, contracts out the running of the accommodation centres to private contractors.92 In 2013, the Government spent over €55 million on these centres.93
The State has accommodated almost 52,000 residents in this system since it was introduced in April 2000.94 As the chart below indicates, despite the dramatic decrease in the number of people seeking asylum in Ireland since 2008, the number of people accommodated in direct provision has not fallen at the same rate and remains comparatively high.95
Figure 4: Number of asylum applications/number of direct provision residents
One of the main criticisms of the system is the excessive length of time residents have to live in inadequate accommodation while they await a decision on their claim for protection. When the system was first introduced, it was envisaged that a person would spend no longer than six months in this type of accommodation. Access to Rent Supplement was completely removed from asylum seekers in 2003.96 In December 2013, the average length of time a resident spent in direct provision accommodation based on his or her initial asylum application was four years and four months although 68 per cent of residents had lived in direct provision accommodation for more than three years with 15 per cent living there for more than seven years.97 The Government’s standard response, when questioned about the delays in the asylum process, is that these will be reduced following the reform of protection legislation to introduce a single procedure to determine protection applications. Preparations for this legislative reform have been ongoing since 200198 with an initial draft of the Bill published in 2008. A revised version has been further delayed and awaits publication and enactment in 2015.99 Following protests by residents100 and increased pressure from advocacy groups, as well as criticism by the newly appointed Minister for Equality, New Communities and Culture who described the system as ‘inhumane’,101 the Department of Justice and Equality has established a working group to review the system.102
Overcrowding is defined in the Housing Act 1966 as a sleeping area where a person has ‘less than four hundred cubic feet’103 or where two people of opposite sex over the age of ten have to sleep in the same room when they are not ’living together as husband and wife’.104 RIA has stated that it acts in accordance with the relevant legislation105 but in many cases parents have to share bedrooms with their adolescent children leading to a lack of privacy and overcrowding.106
The UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in its 2011 Concluding Observations called on the Government to carry out a review of the direct provision system recommending that the State ‘take all necessary measures to improve the living conditions of asylum- seekers by providing them with adequate food, medical care and other social amenities’.107 The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) echoed this recommendation following a country visit in 2012.108
FLAC urges the Committee to recommend that the State:
Abolish the direct provision system as it has failed to adequately protect the social, economic and cultural rights of those seeking protection in Ireland. While it remains in place, introduce a time limit of nine months after which anyone who has not received a decision through no fault of their own should be able to leave direct provision accommodation and access relevant social security payments and the labour market.
1 B. Jordan (2014) ‘Addressing Housing as a Human Rights Issue’ Presentation made at A Human Rights Approach to Tackling Poverty and Social Inequality conference, Newry, 16 May 2014.
2 Focus Ireland, ‘Focus Ireland calls on Minister Burton to raise Rent Supplement in Budget to prevent more families and individuals from losing their homes’ [press release], 4 July 2014.
3 Department of Public Expenditure (2013) Revised Estimates for Public Services, Dublin: Stationery Office, p.101.
4 Department of Public Expenditure (2013) Revised Estimates for Public Services, Dublin: Stationery Office, p.168.
5 Department of Environment, Community and Local Government ‘O’Sullivan launches €68m Local Authority Construction Initiative’ [press release], 11 March 2014.
6 Department of Environment, Community and Local Government ‘€50m boost to housing capital budget a significant investment’ [press release], 13 May 2014.
7 G. Kennedy and T. McIndoe-Calder, ‘The Irish Mortgage Market: Stylised Facts, Negative Equity and Arrears’, Quarterly Bulletin 01, January 2012, Dublin: Central Bank of Ireland, p.31.
8 Central Bank of Ireland (2014) Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions Statistics: Q1 2014, Dublin: CBI, pp.1-2.
9 Central Bank of Ireland (2014) Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions Statistics: Q1 2014, Dublin: CBI, p.2.
10 Central Bank of Ireland (2014) Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossessions Statistics: Q1 2014, Dublin: CBI, p.5.
11 Central Bank (2010) Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears, Dublin: Central Bank.
12 FLAC (2014) Presentation to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform on Resolution Process for Mortgage Arrears, Dublin: FLAC, p.19.
13 Free Legal Advice Centres (2014) Annual Report 2013, Dublin: FLAC, p.18.
14 MABS is funded by the Department of Social Protection through the Citizens Information Board.
16 FLAC (2014) Presentation to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform on Resolution Process for Mortgage Arrears, Dublin: FLAC, p.21.
17 FLAC (2014) Presentation to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform on Resolution Process for Mortgage Arrears, Dublin: FLAC, p.19.
18 Threshold (2014) Pre-Budget Submission 2015 to the Department of Finance, Dublin: Threshold, p. 11.
19 Threshold (2014) Pre-Budget Submission 2015 to the Department of Finance, Dublin: Threshold.
20 Northside Community Law Centre (2012) Submission on Residential Tenancies Bill (No.2) 2012, Dublin: NCLC, p.3.
21 Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights & UN Habitat (2014) The Right to Housing: Fact Sheet No. 21 (Rev.1), Geneva: United Nations, p.4.
22 Donegan v Dublin City Council 3 I.R. 600;  2 I.L.R.M. 233.
23 Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (2014) Implementation Plan on the State’s Response to Homelessness May 2014 to December 2016, Dublin: DECLG, p.6.
24 Peter McVerry Trust, ‘Statistics for 2013’ available online at: http://www.pmvtrust.ie/news-media/facts-and-figures/.
25 Focus Ireland, ‘Focus Ireland reports crisis continuing as new figures show 40 families became homeless in August alone’, [press release], 8 September 2014.
26 K. Holland, ‘Prefabs may be used to tackle housing crisis in Dublin’, Irish Times, 15 September 2014.
27 Housing Agency (2013) Social Housing Assessment Report 2013, Dublin: Housing Agency, p.7. A Housing Needs Assessment takes place every three years to identify the number of households who require social housing under Section 9 of the Housing Act 1988.
28 Clúid Housing Association (2014) Presentation to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, 30 September 2014.
29 Clúid Housing Association (2014) Presentation to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, 30 September 2014; see also M. Norris & T. Fahey, ‘From Asset Based Welfare to Welfare Housing? The Changing Function of Social Housing in Ireland’, Housing Studies 26/3, pp. 459-469.
30 Housing Agency (2013) Social Housing Assessment Report 2013, Dublin: Housing Agency, p.11.
31 Government of Ireland (2014) Construction 2020: A Strategy for a Renewed Construction Sector, Dublin: Stationery Office.
32 Housing Agency (2014) Housing Supply Requirements in Ireland’s Urban Settlements 2014-2018: Overview, Dublin: Housing Agency & Future Analytics.
33 Irish Council for Social Housing (2013) Pre-Budget Submission 2014, Dublin: ICSH, p.1.
34 Department of Public Expenditure (2013) Revised Estimates for Public Services, Dublin: Stationery Office, p.101.
35 Respond! Housing Association (2014) Submission to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Community, Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht: 15 April 2014, Dublin: Respond! Housing Association, p.4.
36 Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, Parliamentary Questions: Written Answers, [20587/14, 20588/14], 7 May 2014.
37 Focus Ireland (2012) Out of Reach: The Impact of Changes in Rent Supplement, Dublin: Focus Ireland.
38 Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland (2014) MRCI’s Submission to the Shadow Report to the Irish State’s obligation under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), Dublin: Migrant Rights Centre of Ireland, p.7.
39 Nasc (2014) Submission to FLAC for ICESCR Shadow Report, Cork: Nasc, pp.13-14.
40 Daft.ie (2014) The Daft.ie Rental Report: An analysis of recent trends in the Irish rental market, 2014 Q1, Dublin: Daft Media Ltd, p.5.
41 Simon Communities in Ireland (2013) Submission to the Review of Rent Supplement Limits: April 2013, Dublin: Simon Communities in Ireland, p.2.
42 Focus Ireland (2012) Out of Reach: The Impact of Changes in Rent Supplement, Dublin: Focus Ireland, p.10.
43 H. McGee, ‘Kelly rules out rent controls and says new homes are answer’, Irish Times, 23 July 2014.
44 D. Redmond and R. Hearne (2013) Starting Afresh: Housing Associations, Stock Transfer and Regeneration, Dublin: Clúid Housing Association, p.11.
45 Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (2005) Housing Policy Framework: Building Sustainable Communities, Dublin: Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, p.2.
46 R. Hearne (2009) Origins, Development and Outcomes of Public Private Partnerships in Ireland: The Case of PPPs in Social Housing Regeneration, Dublin: Combat Poverty Agency, p.66.
47 Rialto Rights in Action (2014) Report on the Fourth Monitoring of Housing Conditions in Dolphin House Rialto Dublin 8, Dublin: Rialto Rights in Action, pp.8-10.
48 D. Redmond and R. Hearne (2013) Starting Afresh: Housing Associations, Stock Transfer and Regeneration, Dublin: Clúid Housing Association, p.22.
49 D. Redmond and R. Hearne (2013) Starting Afresh: Housing Associations, Stock Transfer and Regeneration, Dublin: Clúid Housing Association, p.23.
50 Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD, Parliamentary Questions: Written Answers [32184/14], 17 July 2014.
51 D. Redmond and R. Hearne (2013) Starting Afresh: Housing Associations, Stock Transfer and Regeneration, Dublin: Clúid Housing Association, p.21.
52 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2011) Report of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona: Mission to Ireland, 17 May 2011, Geneva: OHCHR, p.20.
53 This process was facilitated through FLAC using its Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) project. Members of the Working Group that initiated the complaint include the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at the National University of Ireland Galway, Ballymun Community Law Centre, Community Action Network, Dr. Rory Hearne of National University of Ireland Maynooth and the Irish Traveller Movement.
54 International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), ‘Social housing: FIDH takes Ireland before the European Committee of Social Rights’ [press release], 14 July 2014.
55 E. Thomas (2011) Mould Analysis Report, Dublin: Mould Busters Ltd.
56 Tobin Consulting Engineers (2010) Assessment of Wastewater Backup into Residential Dwellings at Dolphin House, Dublin 8, Dublin: Community Action Network.
57 Rialto Rights in Action (2012) Report on the Third Monitoring of Housing Conditions in Dolphin House Rialto Dublin 8, Dublin: Rialto Rights in Action. The Rialto Rights in Action Project is a collaboration of Rialto Residents, Dolphin House Alliance, The Dolphin and Fatima Health Projects, Community Response, Community Action Network and Participation and Practice of Rights Project, Belfast, and is funded by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
58 Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2008 (SI 534/2008).
59 Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 (SI 462/2009).
60 Threshold (2013) Threshold Annual Report 2012, Dublin: Threshold, p.2.
61 Threshold (2013) Threshold Annual Report 2012, Dublin: Threshold, p.2.
62 Threshold (2013) Threshold Annual Report 2012, Dublin: Threshold, p.28.
63 Focus Ireland and Immigrant Council of Ireland (2012) Making a Home in Ireland: Housing Experiences of Chinese, Indian, Lithuanian & Nigerian Migrants in Blanchardstown, Dublin: ICI, p.9
64 UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2002) Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Ireland, Geneva: OHCHR, para.20.
65 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2011) Report of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona: Mission to Ireland, 17 May 2011, Geneva: OHCHR, p.18.
66 Pavee Point, (2013) ‘Travelling with Austerity’: Impacts of Cuts on Travellers, Traveller Projects and Services, Dublin: Pavee Point, p.25
68 In its 2009-2013 plan, Dublin City Council committed to build 118 new units of Traveller-specific accommodation but only built one. Fingal County Council’s 2009-2013 programme stated that it would provide between 79 and 91 new units; it provided 30 units.
71 Pavee Point (2013) ‘Travelling with Austerity’: Impacts of Cuts on Travellers, Traveller Projects and Services, Dublin: Pavee Point, p.26.
72 European Roma Rights Centre v Ireland, Complaint No. 100/2013.
73 European Roma Rights Centre v Ireland, Complaint No. 100/2013, p.9, para.22.
74 Disability Federation of Ireland (2013) Promises, Commitments and Delivery: Mid-Term Review of the Programme for Government, Dublin: DFI, p.6.
75 Government of Ireland (2012) Census 2011 Profile 8 – Our Bill of Health, Dublin: Stationery Office, p.11.
76 Government of Ireland (2012) Census 2011 Profile 8 – Our Bill of Health, Dublin: Stationery Office, p.16.
77 Office of the Ombudsman, ‘Discontinuation of Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant’, [press release], 26 February 2013.
78 Disability Federation of Ireland (2014) Access to Life: Personal Assistant Services in Ireland and Independent Living by People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities, Dublin: DFI, p.6
79 Health Service Executive (2013) Health Service National Service Plan 2014, Dublin: HSE, p.66.
80 Disability Federation of Ireland (2013) Pre-Budget Submission 2014, Dublin: DFI.
81 The grants are Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability (HAG), Housing Aid for Older People (HOPs) and the Mobility Aids Grant (MAG).
82 Housing Agency (2013) Review of the Housing Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, Dublin: Housing Agency, p.5.
83 Housing Agency (2013) Review of the Housing Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, Dublin: Housing Agency, p.5.
84 Part 8 of the Health Act 2007.
85 The Health Act 2007 (Care and Support of Residents in Designated Centres for Persons (Children and Adults) with Disabilities) Regulations 2013 (SI 367/2013), also known as the ‘care and support regulations’ and the Health Act 2007 (Registration of Designated Centres for Persons (Children and Adults) with Disabilities) Regulations 2013 (SI 366/2013), also known as the ‘registration regulations’.
86 Health Information and Quality Authority (2013) National Quality Standards: Residential Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities, Dublin: HIQA.
87 P. Duncan, ‘Less than 2% of disability centres pass Hiqa test’, Irish Times, 4 August 2014.
88 Health Information and Quality Authority Regulation Directorate (2014) Compliance Monitoring Inspection Report: Centre 11215 [25-26 February 2014], Dublin: Health Information and Quality Authority, pp.4-6.
89 Health Information and Quality Authority Regulation Directorate (2014) Compliance Monitoring Inspection Report: Centre 11215 [26-27 May 2014], Dublin: Health Information and Quality Authority, p.10.
90 C. O’Brien and P. Duncan, ‘Dehydration and malnutrition ‘factors’ in death at HSE home’, Irish Times, 28 July 2014.
92 FLAC (2009) One Size Doesn’t Fit All: A legal analysis of the direct provision and dispersal system in Ireland, 10 years on, Dublin: FLAC, pp.26-30.
93 Reception and Integration Agency (2014) RIA Annual Report, Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality, p.31.
94 Reception and Integration Agency (2014) December 2013: Monthly Statistics Report, Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality, p.8.
95 The statistics used to compile this chart were taken from the Reception and Integration Agency (2014) RIA Annual Report, Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality.
96 Section 13 Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2003.
97 Reception and Integration Agency (2014) December 2013: Monthly Statistics Report, Dublin: Department of Justice and Equality, p.19.
98 Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, ‘Launch of new Immigration Bill’ [press release], 29 January 2008.
99 Minister for State with responsibility for Equality, New Communities and Culture, ‘Response by Minister of State to Seanad Private Member’s motion on Direct Provision’, [speech given in Seanad], 17 September 2014.
100 E. English, ‘Asylum seekers’ protest extends to fifth centre’, Irish Examiner, 19 September 2014.
101 Minister for State with responsibility for Equality, New Communities and Culture, ‘Response by Minister of State to Seanad Private Member’s motion on Direct Provision’, [speech given in Seanad], 17 September 2014.
103 Section 63(b) Housing Act 1966.
104 Section 63(a) Housing Act 1966.
105 C. Joyce and E. Quinn (2014) The Organisation of Reception Facilities for Asylum Seekers in Ireland, Dublin: European Migration Network & the Economic and Social Research Institute, p.18.
106 FLAC (2009) One Size Doesn’t Fit All: A legal analysis of the direct provision and dispersal system in Ireland, 10 years on, Dublin: FLAC, pp.89-92
107 UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (2011) Concluding Observations of the Committee to Eliminate all forms of Racial Discrimination: Ireland, Geneva: OHCHR, para.20.
108 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (2013) ECRI Report on Ireland (fourth monitoring cycle), Strasbourg: Council of Europe, p.26.
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