Conor Skehan :'Nothing but the facts will do when tackling homelessness'

Brendan Burgess

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A great article, well worth reading in full


The facts are that, in terms of comparisons on the broad canvas of housing, Ireland now fares well in the context of Europe; having the fourth lowest level of overcrowding; the fifth lowest housing overburden rate and Europe's lowest levels of severe housing deprivation and households with children facing overcrowding.

Indeed, in every one of the 11 factors examined in the indicators of European Homelessness 2019 report, Ireland is better than the EU average in every one, except in the fundamental issue of arrears - as well as the prevalence of lone women with dependent children among households experiencing damp housing. These are facts.

...

Homelessness is a very different thing from rough sleeping - the subject of most posters that seek funding for homelessness. The Dublin region has 92 people who were recorded as rough sleeping this year compared to 152 in 2018. Brussels has 150 rough sleepers; in 2015 Lisbon had 431. It is sobering to consider the comparable figures for larger cities such as London which has 8,855; Paris 2,232; Los Angeles 44,000; Seattle 12,112; San Francisco 9,700; New York City 3,588, and San Diego 8,576. Homelessness is a part of the reality of capital cities and large cities all over the world.
 

Conan

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Aghhh Brendan, this does not suit the prevailing narrative of SF, PBF, Solidarity, Cillian Murphy, Glen Hansard etc etc. Everything’s the fault of the Government, clearly. Of course houses can be built in a week, everyone knows that. And sure nobody ever objects to proposed housing and apartment developments. Stick to the script Brendan.
 

24601

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There's a lot of things you can't really say out loud about homelessness (and increasingly lots of other things). Well you can but you risk all the usual cliches about being a right wing so and so, and it's generally not worth the hassle in this ultra liberal PC age we seem to be in. It's sad to see so many people talk about Ireland like it's some sort of third world backwater all the time (probably not allowed use the term third world now come to think of it?). We have many social issues but we continue to perform better than nearly everyone in most areas of any consequence, but you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise when you pick up a paper or listen to the radio.

I asked a colleague recently if she thought the government has the wherewithal to reduce homelessness to zero. She said yes. I asked whether they should implement all the policies required to get us there. She said yes. Imagine living in that Ireland.
 
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galway_blow_in

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Conor Skehan is not afraid to be unpopular which makes him a pretty rare species in this country today.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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My pet theory is that:
1) 90% of journalists live in Dublin
2) journalism pays badly due to the death of advertising

Ergo journalists struggle to find a place to live. They talk to their friends - mainly other journalists - and keep it on top of the news agenda.


In reality housing is an acute issue for a small share of the population, but in fact a non-issue for the majority.
 

odyssey06

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Local school in our area is fundraising to "help feed the thousands of homeless this Christmas". I got daggers looks for suggesting that there aren't thousands that need feeding.
That's another reason why it gets so much attention - all the different charities.

I've been giving to different homeless charities for last 20 years, at this point, I'm beginning to think it is time to stop. We're spending €20 billion on social welfare, I pay a huge amount in tax and it is a government responsibility not something that will be resolved or should be funded by charitable donations.

We can accomodate 6000+ people in direct provision at a cost of €35 - €100 per person per day.
This is not about money.
 
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galway_blow_in

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That's another reason why it gets so much attention - all the different charities.

I've been giving to different homeless charities for last 20 years, at this point, I'm beginning to think it is time to stop. We're spending €20 billion on social welfare, I pay a huge amount in tax and it is a government responsibility not something that will be resolved or should be funded by charitable donations.

We can accomodate 6000+ people in direct provision at a cost of €35 - €100 per person per day.
This is not about money.
The capuchin centre is my only choice, the rest are mixed up with some kind of left wing activism.
 

Blackrock1

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A great article, well worth reading in full


The facts are that, in terms of comparisons on the broad canvas of housing, Ireland now fares well in the context of Europe; having the fourth lowest level of overcrowding; the fifth lowest housing overburden rate and Europe's lowest levels of severe housing deprivation and households with children facing overcrowding.

Indeed, in every one of the 11 factors examined in the indicators of European Homelessness 2019 report, Ireland is better than the EU average in every one, except in the fundamental issue of arrears - as well as the prevalence of lone women with dependent children among households experiencing damp housing. These are facts.

...

Homelessness is a very different thing from rough sleeping - the subject of most posters that seek funding for homelessness. The Dublin region has 92 people who were recorded as rough sleeping this year compared to 152 in 2018. Brussels has 150 rough sleepers; in 2015 Lisbon had 431. It is sobering to consider the comparable figures for larger cities such as London which has 8,855; Paris 2,232; Los Angeles 44,000; Seattle 12,112; San Francisco 9,700; New York City 3,588, and San Diego 8,576. Homelessness is a part of the reality of capital cities and large cities all over the world.
at least someone has the mettle to report factually, id imagine he will be attacked ferociously for it.
 

Peanuts20

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What is the definition of homelessness?
Is it rough sleepers (yes)
is is those living in short term accom such as hotels (yes)
Is it people couch surfing (probably not quantified- yes in my view)
Is it people still living at home with family or friends and who cannot afford to get a place of their own- (possibly depending on the circumstances)
 

The Horseman

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What is the definition of homelessness?
Is it rough sleepers (yes)
is is those living in short term accom such as hotels (yes)
Is it people couch surfing (probably not quantified- yes in my view)
Is it people still living at home with family or friends and who cannot afford to get a place of their own- (possibly depending on the circumstances)

So almost everyone. Homeless in the past was for those who did not have a roof over their heads. Nowadays because you don't have your "forever home" (which is a term that really bugs me personally) see themselves as homeless.
 

Delboy

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A lot of Charities = a lot of CEO's, CFO's, Policy Officers, HR Heads etc. Its a racket and everyone and anyone is getting in on it.

I saw last night on the Claire Byrne Show a charity from Portlaoise that come up to Dublin 2 nights a week to give out food and clothes. Another lad who's coming up from Monaghan with hundreds of coats and hangs them on the Ha'penny bridge every week but now the Corpo are removing them.

Madness
 

Purple

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So almost everyone. Homeless in the past was for those who did not have a roof over their heads. Nowadays because you don't have your "forever home" (which is a term that really bugs me personally) see themselves as homeless.
My 21 year old son is living at home as he can't afford his own place (he's in college). It seems the poor lad is actually homeless. I must let him know. I hope he's not too shocked.
 

dereko1969

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I think there's a lot of merit in the article but disparaging people who live in B&Bs or Hotels where families have to walk the streets during the day and have nowhere suitable to do their homework is obnoxious - some of them may be waiting and playing the system for "a forever home" but I would think that's a very small minority, a little bit of empathy wouldn't go astray. Season's greetings and all that.
 

Blackrock1

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I think there's a lot of merit in the article but disparaging people who live in B&Bs or Hotels where families have to walk the streets during the day and have nowhere suitable to do their homework is obnoxious - some of them may be waiting and playing the system for "a forever home" but I would think that's a very small minority, a little bit of empathy wouldn't go astray. Season's greetings and all that.
we have more than enough empathy, what we dont have a sensible reaction to the actual facts.

as others have said it suits everyone in the charity game to talk it up.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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What evidence did you use to form that opinion?
Do remember that Conor Skehan was Chair of the Housing Authority.
There is evidence on this. From the Irish Times in 2018

In January 2015, following the death of Jonathan Corrie who had been sleeping rough near Leinster House, the then minister for housing, Alan Kelly, ordered that 50 per cent of all social housing available in Dublin city and county was to be allocated to homeless people.

Prior to this, 10 per cent of social housing was allocated to homeless individuals or families in Dublin city and 4-6 per cent in the rest of Dublin.

At the end of December 2014, 331 families were living in emergency accommodation, mostly in hotels and B&Bs. By the following December, there were 683 homeless families. That number has now reached 1,530.

In July 2016, the 50 per cent allocation order was dropped, amid concerns that general housing waiting list applicants were being disadvantaged. However, Dublin City Council continues to prioritise homeless applicants. Up to October of this year, 43 per cent of new tenancies in the city went to homeless people.
 

dereko1969

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What evidence did you use to form that opinion?
Do remember that Conor Skehan was Chair of the Housing Authority.
I have no evidence other than perhaps a misplaced trust in people to generally (I did state minority) do the right thing by their children. I don't see any evidence for the opposing view either. Conor Skehan doesn't actually state anywhere in the article that people are deliberately overstaying in hotel/b&b accommodation in order to game the system.
 

Bronte

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I think there's a lot of merit in the article but disparaging people who live in B&Bs or Hotels where families have to walk the streets during the day and have nowhere suitable to do their homework is obnoxious - some of them may be waiting and playing the system for "a forever home" but I would think that's a very small minority, a little bit of empathy wouldn't go astray. Season's greetings and all that.
Why not think of this another way. If you had no job, and no income other than the dole. Would you stay in Dublin with your children in a hotel room for a year or two or three? Or would you move to rural Ireland and rent a house, paid for by the state?

Would you bring your children to be fed at a soup kitchen equivelant.
 
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