COPE Galway has hit out at the lack of additional social housing in the city, stating: “Without provision of additional social housing we are simply at nothing.”
The organisation has also called for vacant properties in the city to be brought back into use.
This is in light of the findings of the Daft.ie Rental Price Report for the second quarter of 2017 which shows a 10% increase in rent levels for Galway City in the past 12 months.
The local charity says that homeless services are struggling to address the unprecedented homelessness crisis in the city which is most evident with the growth in rough sleeping over recent months.
They say that this is resulting in the growing numbers of families and individuals who become homeless remaining in emergency accommodation for extended periods of time.
COPE Galway’s Martin O’Connor said that is is clear that the private rental market does not offer a solution to the crisis we are struggling to deal with.
“This Daft.ie rental report which highlights the chronic shortage of supply and ever increasing rent levels in Galway is further proof, if proof were needed, that the private rental market is in serious difficulty and that those most negatively impacted on are families and individuals who cannot afford the rents being asked for. Without the provision of additional social housing we are simply at nothing,” said Mr O’Connor.
Mr O’Connor went on to welcome recent Government policy initiatives to bring vacant properties back into use as something which also offers hope for the many people at risk of and experiencing homelessness.
“At a time of shortage it is vital that housing stock in the city is utilised to the fullest extent possible and measures incentivising property owners to put vacant units into use and taxes to penalise them for not doing so are required,” he added.