The national housing charity, Threshold has today (22.01.18) welcomed the appointment of a national director for the Housing First programme, which is part of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan for housing and homelessness. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy announced former Threshold chief executive, Bob Jordan as the national director following today’s Rebuilding Ireland Housing Summit.
Commenting, Threshold chief executive, John-Mark McCafferty said: “For the past number of years Threshold has been advocating for the introduction of a model that addresses situations where people find themselves in long term emergency accommodation or at immediate risk of homelessness, through the provision of secure tenancies. The appointment of a national director for the Housing First programme comes as an encouraging sign of the Government’s commitment to expand the programme as a meaningful way to address the housing crisis.
He added: “Threshold has been championing this model since the launch of our Access Housing Unit (AHU) in January 2003. Similar to Housing First, the AHU delivers a ‘housing led’ approach to dealing with homelessness by sourcing appropriate private rental accommodation for those who are in need of rapid provision, with support as needed to ensure sustainable tenancies.”
The primary purpose of the AHU is to support individuals and families to move out of emergency accommodation into private rented accommodation and to provide support to allow people to sustain these tenancies. The focus of the AHU’s preventative service is on prompt and effective interventions where homelessness occurs or where there is a substantial risk of homelessness occurring in the immediate future.
Mr McCafferty also welcomed Minister Murphy’s announcement regarding the introduction of legislation to make it an offence for landlords to breach rent increase limits in rent pressure zones. He said: “Rent pressure zones will not be fully effective unless they are properly enforced. We look forward to seeing this legislation and we would urge the Minister to move on this as a priority. In order for this to work we are looking for a publicly accessible and searchable rent register.”
Threshold chair, Dr Aideen Hayden added: “We wish Bob Jordan every success in his new role as national director of the Housing First programme and we look forward to working closely with him in ensuring that people are supported through the programme. Threshold has had a long-term commitment to this type of housing policy through our work to empower and assist people ‘out of home’ to access accommodation in the private rented sector with pre and post tenancy support.”