Clare PPN’s Submission to the Citizen’s Assembly on Tackling Climate Change

Clare Public Participation Network Submission to the Citizen’s Assembly

on the Issue

‘How can the state make Ireland a leader at tackling climate change?’

11th August 2017

Clare Public Participation Network wishes to make the following submission for consideration by the Citizen’s Assembly:

Leadership: Clare PPN calls for strong leadership from all levels of government to ensure that every department’s actions, and every piece of legislation passed is climate proofed. Further to this we call on the government to ensure no further licences for fossil fuel exploration are granted in Ireland’s territory. Clare PPN calls for every measure that is introduced to be poverty proofed and for mitigating steps to be taken if and when steps designed to tackle climate change have a negative effect on people’s socio economic status.

Climate Positive Communities Fund:Clare PPN wishes to suggest that the national government should pilot a programme where it rewards communities and individuals who come up with ways to reduce Ireland’s carbon footprint, to generate clean energy or to move towards food sovereignty in their own communities or in the country as a whole.  Clare PPN suggests that a national organisation employing people with the expertise to evaluate the climate impact of each proposal should be set up and should have the dual role of working to remove any barriers that exist for effective community action and of determining level of financial reward that each project merits. Clare PPN notes that based on current targets the Irish state will be liable for significant financial penalties for failing to meet its climate targets and suggests that the funding spent on a national programme such as the one suggested above would have the potential, if successful to reduce our exposure to such fines and to increase participation by the public in tackling climate change.  This suggestion would ensure that Ireland could help become a leader in tackling climate change by harnessing the power, creativity, local knowledge and resourcefulness that are features of every townland and village in Ireland.

Community Participation:Clare PPN calls on the government to radically alter how public consultations are conducted. In line with the Aarhus Convention it calls on the government to adopt policies and commit resources to ensuring that communities are engaged in decision making, planning, ownership, and ongoing management of any clean energy projects that are proposed in their areas. This approach should be followed in regard to all natural resources with particular reference to seaweed harvesting which appears likely to experience increased interest from private companies given recent findings that it may contribute to lessening climate impact from cattle farming.  Clare PPN wishes to stress that communities should be engaged from the conception stage in any project such as wind, wave or solar energy. Further to this communities must be resourced and supported to consider themselves as energy producers rather than only consumers. This requires significant action to ensure that micro producers of energy are able to efficiently and effectively sell any excess energy produced to the grid and able to access energy from the national grid. It is imperative than any blocks to this process or to communities becoming sustainable energy communities are removed. Clare PPN would like to call for the removal of prohibitions on Virtual Private Networks as these restrictions prevent collaborative approaches to sustainable energy generation for small groups or clusters where this may otherwise be an option.

Infrastructure: Clare PPN is based in a rural, agricultural county, parts of which are dependent on tourism for its sustainability. Clare PPN calls for more supports for environmentally sound tourism practices, for significant investment in environmentally sustainable public transport within the county and for support for innovative, sustainable land use including forestry. Clare PPN notes the existence of successful Community Supported Agriculture projects in Clare and wishes to commend and recommend these as models which could be developed and which are worthy of support. Clare PPN also notes the existence of wetland regeneration projects in County Clare and calls for these to be supported. Clare PPN also recognises the very successful Clare Bus company and call for additional support for them in their moves to become more sustainable, particularly in the area of EV based public transport. Clare PPN calls for a national and local programme of financial and administrative support for individuals and businesses to become self-sufficient in energy needs.

Any enquiries in relation to this submission may be directed to

Christy Sinclair,

Clare PPN Environmental College Representative

Phone: 087- 2244569

Email: sarah@clareppn.ie

Website: www.clareppn.ie

Twitter: @clare_ppn

Facebook: www.facebook.com/clareppn/

Some of your Councillors thoughts on the housing situation in Clare

Some of your Councillors thoughts on the housing situation in Clare

Some of your Councillors thoughts on the housing situation in Clare

Clare PPN’s Social Inclusion College representatives have been doing some work behind the scenes on housing issues in County Clare. One of their actions was to write to all of the County Councillors seeking their thoughts and ideas on how the housing needs of people in the County could be met. For those of you who are interested in this topic some of their responses are here below:

 

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Cllr Gerry Flynn Independent

The Council are concentrating all their efforts on what can be achieved since the economic collapse and with limited construction by the private sector and local authorities. The PPN are represented on the Council’s STRATEGIC POLICY COMMITTEE that deals with policies around Housing/ Culture/ Sport and Recreation and as Chairman I welcome any ideas from the PPN.

I attach some recent information I received from The Director of Service of Clare County Council and you will see the great strides made by The Council to provide accommodation. I would encourage positive comments at this time and also the public need to realise that the day of fast accommodation been provided by The Council is gone and families need to try and provide for themselves. The intention always was for the council to support people who would be vulnerable and I am of the opinion that the council cannot be the only provider of accommodation and currently a lot of housing bodies are doing their best to provide support to the council in the form of approved housing bodies and other providers. You will see from the recent report that The Council have provided 1177 Units of Accommodation from January 2016 to May 31st 2017. I am pleased with this progress.

Questions from Councillor Gerry Flynn for Council Meeting

June 8th 2017

Curtha faoi bhráid na Comhairle ag Cllr. G. Flynn:

“That Clare County Council’s Housing Section provides a report outlining all the initiatives in place to address the housing need in the county.

  1. Total number of properties rented to applicants from the Council’s own stock from 1st January 2016 to 31st May 2017.
  2. Total number of applicants supported under various schemes from January 2016 to 31st May 2017: to include: Leasing, HAP, and any other measures supported by the Council.
  3. Total number of loans approved from January 2016 to 31st May 2017
  4. Total number of residential property purchased to include acquisition cost and cost of bringing property to a habitable condition. (No requirement for breakdown, just accumulated cost) and how many of these properties are now rented to applicants from January 2016 to 31st May 2017.”

Response to above questions from Liam Conneally Director of Services in Clare County Council 

‘I wish to respond as follows:  Clare County Council as the housing authority is committed to addressing the high demand for social housing throughout the county. This demand is continuing to be met by the construction, acquisitions, leasing and renting of suitable properties countywide.  As well as advancing our supply of housing the Council is active in promoting national initiatives such as the Buy & Renew and the Repair & Lease schemes. The Council is also working closely with Approved Housing Bodies in different parts of the county to deliver housing units.

Also, our staff are assisting new applicants and existing tenants with mortgage information, loan applications and where applicable, tenant purchase options.

The numbers of housing units being delivered annually in the County by private builders is still very low resulting in small numbers being produced through the part V mechanism. Despite the numbers of house units being delivered directly/indirectly by local authorities the high housing demand needs private builders back in the market building houses.

Q 1.

208 house allocations made in the period between Jan 2016 and May 2017. The breakdown of these by Municipal District area is as follows:

  • Ennis MD                            85
  • West Clare MD                  73
  • Shannon MD                      32
  • Killaloe MD                         18

Item 2

In terms of Housing Assistance Payment(HAP) tenancies, Clare continues to be one of the leading housing authorities in the management of same with over 1100 tenancies in place since HAP was introduced on June 29th 2015.   886no. HAP tenancies have been facilitated in the period Jan ’16 to May’17. 45no. RAS & Leasing tenancies exist in the Jan ’16 – May ’17 period.  During the period Jan 2016 to May 2017 the Council entered into 83no. lease agreements (34 short term leases, 19 long term leases and 30 leases arranged with Approved Housing Bodies).

Item 3

In regard to Loans, we have seen a marked increase in the number of Loan applications to the Council.  For example, the number of annuity loan applications received in 2016 increased from 2 in 2015 to 56 in 2016.  This was partly due to the Incremental Tenant Purchase Scheme and the Shared Ownership Restructuring Schemes, both of which were introduced in 2016.  There were 18no. loans approved from January 2016 to 31st May 2017  (6 new annuity loans, 5 tenant purchase loans and 7 shared ownership re-structured loans).

Item 4

House acquisitions are being made to maximise the number of houses available to applicants on the Council’s housing list and while there is still value in the market. In the period January 2016 to 31st May 2017, agreement has been reached to purchase 135no. houses.  Of these, sales have closed for 76 dwellings to the end of May with an acquisition cost of €7,749,000.  Forty of these dwellings have been refurbished to date costing a total of €963,000 with thirty-six allocated as of 31st May, 2017.  The remaining number are currently being assessed for works required, at tender stage or near completion of refurbishment with a view to all being returned to occupancy as quickly as possible.  Reduction in turnaround time for such properties is a priority.

The Housing Team within the Social Directorate are working to capacity in the delivery of homes for people in need of housing in a chaotic housing market.’

Le meas,

Liam Conneally,

Director of Service

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Councillor Pat Hayes:

Thank you for your recent letter concerning the present housing crisis in Clare and indeed nationally. It is my belief that not enough measures are being taken to resolve this crisis at national and local level.

In Clare here there are proposals to build Social housing in Feakle, Clonlara and Mullagh which in my view this process takes far too long to proceed and this needs to be overhauled and give greater power to local authorities to manage these projects.

As a local Councillor I have been involved in progressing long term leasing of properties across the county and it is my belief that this process can help to alleviate the waiting list as one measure.  It Is my view that a far more progressive plan towards house building needs to be fast tracked and needs to remove obstacles to progressing these, The amount of vacant properties in all our towns and villages needs to be seen as a resource that can utilized as a measure that can support the regeneration of towns and villages and at the same time bringing life back to these areas.

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Councillor Paul Murphy

I wish to acknowledge receipt of the Clare PPN letter concerning the shortage of housing in County Clare. I acknowledge the fact that there are over 2,500 people on the waiting list countywide, of which over 1,200 of these are waiting for housing in the Ennis area. This is obviously a matter of enormous concern to me and this is replicated right across the country. I believe that this is going to be a continuous challenge for local authorities nationwide as demand will possibly always exceed units available for allocation. Clare County Council purchased 95 units last year and is in the process of building over 70 houses directly while delivering more through Approved Housing Bodies, Long Term Leasing and also the Repair and Lease Scheme. I am aware that it realistically takes 2 years to deliver any housing development and this increases the challenge faced by the Council.

The Housing Minister, Simon Coveney launched the Rebuilding Ireland plan last year and I believe that inroads will be made into the waiting lists if the current Minister is left in this Department. Time will tell and we may have a different Minister in the weeks ahead due to change in the leadership of Fine Gael. The one obvious thing that would accelerate clearing the waiting lists is additional finance being made available to the Housing Departments across the country but this can only be achieved if the fortunes of the nation’s economy and coffers continue to improve.

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Cllr Mike McKee Sinn Fein

The lack of Social Housing builds in recent years, as a result of the failures by successive governments, has resulted in the homelessness crisis we are facing today and will do for years to come unless the political will is there to resolve it and not just ministers paying lip-service to and massaging the true figures of what is a disgraceful position we have been left in.To solve this will require great vision, innovation and a holistic approach to tackle social housing need, private market provision, rent inequities, discrimination and community-based inclusivity.

We face social housing shortages; a crisis of homelessness; rising private property prices; increasing rents; shortages in emergency accommodation; burdensome mortgages; and a legacy of poor build quality and unsustainable planning.  The idea that the market will solve everything the key pillar on which successive government policies have rested, has been shattered by the boom and subsequent bust. In its wake lie destroyed lives and broken communities.

The vision of Sinn Fein, in relation to housing, is as follows:

  • Every person in Ireland has the right to adequate and appropriate housing, regardless of income, age, economic or other affiliation or status, and has a right to freedom from discrimination in housing.
  • Every person has the right to security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment or other threats, regardless of the form of tenure.
  • Housing policy must adequately meet the needs of disadvantaged groups including, but not limited to, the elderly, children, people with disabilities and lone parents.
  • Travellers have the right to housing that is culturally appropriate.
  • Everyone has the right to participate in public decisions that affect their right to housing.

The greatest workload for Councillors at present is dealing with housing queries. it is the most difficult job trying to explain to young couples who may be on the list for a number of years that they will still be there for the foreseeable future and the only answer is to find private rented accommodation and avail of the Housing Assistance Payment scheme. While we are all aware that it is illegal not to accept HAP, the reality is the opposite (HAP). The lack of private rentals compared to the demand has ensured that landlords can pick and choose their tenants and demand references which has made it impossible for first time renters to even get on the rental ladder never mind the dream of ownership at some stage.

What is needed: 100,000 new social builds over the next 15 years. Provide rent certainty by index linking rent increases and decreases to the Consumer Price Index.

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Cllr Cathal Crowe  Fianna Fail

At this evening’s meeting of Clare County Council I received the unanimous backing of my colleagues to have the possibility of our local authority setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to more efficiently provide social housing examined by a committee of councillors. Clare County Council’s Housing Committee will now examine the merits of my proposal before any further decision is taken.

Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) are essentially companies which are set up achieve a narrow and very specific objective. They can be created under Section 110 of the Taxes Consolidation Act of 1997. NAMA is the best known SPV in Ireland.

I recognise that the staff in Clare County Council’s Housing Department are doing a wonderful job in trying to support those in our county who so desperately need housing but the time-frame for building new housing units but that does not mean that other efficient ways of amassing housing stock should be dismissed. It typically takes 2 years from the time the idea to build a Council house is conceived to the time when a tenant gets to move in. Delays can typically involve site procurement, planning, obtaining funding and tendering for the entire project. SPVs don’t have to operate as public bodies do and have the potential to raise loans quicker and achieve a lot in a shorter time frame.

In England local authorities have, for several years, used SPVs to build and buy new housing stock. Lambeth Borough Council in South-London is a good example. In October of 2015 the members of Lambeth Borough Council voted to establish a Housing SPV. Although operating on a far larger scale than Clare County Council, Lambeth Borough Council are currently in the process of building in excess of 400 new houses. A YouTube video explaining how all of this works can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5IheInBB-o 

A Housing SPV could buy and build houses and lease these back to the Council on a long-term basis. The SPV could raise capital quickly and plough any profits made back into the Council’s Housing Department. The red-tape of public procurement and tendering could also be circumnavigated.

Some will undoubtedly have reservations for my proposal (see attached written response from Mr. Liam Conneally, Director of Housing, Clare County Council) but I think it deserves further exploration before being ruled in or out.

As a Councillor I am inundated, on a weekly basis, with phone calls and emails from people who cannot find accommodation of any sort. I know of people that spend their weeks moving from one friend’s couch to another. Others scour AirBnB and budget hotels in the area to try to find cheap short-term accommodation. We need to think of innovative and fast-delivery mechanisms for helping these people.

ENDS. For further information / comment please contact Cllr. Cathal Crowe: (087) 1368882

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Cllr Gabriel Keating

I refer to your recent correspondence regarding the housing crisis in Clare.

As a County Councillor representing the North West Municipal District, I am actively working with the Local Authority and with various community groups on a daily basis to support people in need of housing.  It was my motion back in 2014 which prompted Clare County Council to identify and develop a database of all unoccupied houses in this County.  I have long held the view that we need to do more to bring vacant units back into use.

I have tabled a number of motions at Local Authority Meetings to encourage the utilisation of these properties to address our Social Housing Lists.  One of those motions was instrumental in securing support at National Level for the introduction of a Repair and Leasing Scheme whereby €32 million has been made available to the owners of vacant properties who cannot afford or access the funding required to renovate these properties and bring them up to the standard for letting to Social Housing tenants.

On a practical level, I actively seek accommodation for people who require support.  Recently I have secured housing for 3 people who were made homeless, two in my own parish and one in the adjoining Parish.

While there is no one quick fix solution, I believe that a combination of initiatives including the upgrade of vacant properties and the plan by the various Housing Agencies to buy vacant properties the construction of new local authority homes combined with the measures announced in the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland will improve the situation for people in need.

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Cllr Christy Curtain 

I would recommend a collaborative approach by Clare County Council (Housing Authority) with the relevant stakeholders to address the ongoing issue of the housing situation in the County. This model of joint participation with a representative group will give added impetus to a renewed effort by the Housing Authority working through the SPC Housing and the Corporate Body to focus directly and expeditiously on the real and URGENT housing needs of the population.

I would urge immediate action in the following Areas:

1) UP-DATE on the current social housing allocation Scheme,

2) Review and analysis of the Current Register of Qualified Households to establish the categories waiting times and locations of households on the list.

3) The engagement of a Rural Resettlement Officer in Clare with a specific housing brief to work in liaison with the Municipal District Offices and the Social and Rural Development Directorates within the Council.

4) An Accelerated Programme of building of Local Authority Social Housing to be funded by the Government.

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Cllr Ian Lynch

Housing is an area that takes up a large portion of my dealing with the public and I recognize this is a national issues but needs to be addressed at a local level. To ensure that an appropriate strategy is agreed and implemented this must be implemented as a unit moving forward together with shared values.  On that note if feel that the Housing SPC, which includes the CPPN, is best positioned to deliver a united front to ensure that we develop, agree and peruse the correct strategy for county Clare.

 

Those are the responses we have got so far, we’ll update this article when we get any more.

 

 

Get Your Nominations in for Clare’s Older Person of the Year 2017

Clare Older People’s Council Older Person of the Year Award

Volunteers

The Clare Older People’s Council has asked us to make sure you know about their Older Person of the Year Award.

Between now and August 22nd they are looking for nominations of people over 55 years of age who have contributed positively to their communities through volunteering.

You can print off the application form at this link OPC Person of the Year Award and fill it in and return it either by post or email.

Email Address:  clareopf@gmail.com

Address:
Clare Older People’s Council,
C/O Clare Local Development Company,
Unit 1, Kilrush Road
Ennis
County Clare.

 

Notice of Election – Call for nominations for representatives to sit on the National Advisory Forum for Public Participation Networks in Ireland

Call for nominations for National Advisory Forum  June 8th 2017.

Notice of election on June 29th* Call for nominations on or before June 16th at 5pm 

Clare PPN has been invited to nominate one person from each of our colleges (Environmental, Social Inclusion, Community and Voluntary) to sit on the National Advisory Forum for Public Participation Networks in Ireland. Every PPN in Ireland is invited to put forward three nominees and three people will eventually be selected from the whole country to sit on the forum.

This forum will meet a minimum of four times per year and those meetings will take place in Dublin. Representatives will be paid civil service level expenses but will not receive any other payment. The forum will work to strengthen the PPN’s nationally and to develop policies for them. More information is provided for potential nominees at the foot of this page.

All member groups are invited to give us their nominations on or before Friday 16th June at 5pm 

Who is eligible for nomination?

  1. All nominees must be in a group that is a member of Clare PPN.
  2. Each group can only nominate one person for one college – eg environmental groups can only nominate a person for the environmental college and so on.
  3. Nominees must consent to their own nomination- it is the responsibility of the group who nominates them to ensure this.

How can your group nominate someone?

Contact your nominee and ask for their permission and get them to send you a short biography – a few lines about their interests and experience and their contact details and then e-mail sarah@clareppn.ie before the 16th June at 5pm with the following information- 

  1. Your name and contact number
  2. Name of your group
  3. Name of the person you are nominating and name of the group they are a member of
  4. Contact details and short biography of the person you are nominating

*If there is more than one nominee in each category we will hold an election by email with close of voting taking place on June 29th. Once nominations are closed the details of nominees in each college will be circulated to members of that college along with a call for votes. Each member group will have one vote.


Information for prospective nominees

The timeframe involved

It is proposed that the members of the new Advisory Group would meet for the first time in September/October 2017. 

The term of office of the Advisory Group

The members of the new Advisory Group would each be appointed for a period of 3 years

(September/October 2017 – August 2020)

Meetings

The National Advisory Group will meet at least four times in a full year, typically once a quarter. For convenience purposes meetings meetings to date of the Group have been held in the Custom House,  Dublin 1 which is located next to national rail, bus and Luas services. It is expected that this venue will continue to serve for meeting of the new group.

Agenda and minutes are circulated to members within two weeks of a meeting.

Additional meetings may be organised as and when required.

Travelling & Subsistence.

Current Civil Service rates apply to travel and subsistence expenses incurred by members of the National PPN Advisory Group travelling to and from meetings. It is Departmental policy that public transport should be used wherever possible if it is deemed necessary to travel for meeting purposes.  Members should only use their cars to travel to and from meetings in where no suitable public transport (e.g., train or bus) is available

Purpose and Objectives of the National PPN Advisory Group

The National Advisory Group’s role will be to advise and support the Department in the development and operation of the PPNs. In that the Advisory Group will

  1. Develop key performance indicators for PPNs and Local Authorities in conjunction with the Department.
  2. Analyse and discuss local progress and liaise with DHPCLG on addressing priority issues identified.
  3. Monitor progress on the development and implementation of PPNs across the country to ensure consistency of implementation across local authority areas.
  4. Where inconsistencies are identified, make proposals on how these issues can be resolved.

 

 

 

 

 

Transport for All Event from Clare Leader Forum May 26th 10.30 Temple Gate Hotel

Transport for All
Clare Leader Forum in Partnership with Clare Citizens Information Centre

Temple Gate Hotel, 26th May 2017, 10.30am – 1.30pm

10.30am Welcome, Dermot Hayes

10.45am Transport in Perspective, Martin Tobin

10.55am Accessible Local Travel Options, Clare Bus

11.15am Knowing your Transport Entitlements, Citizens Information Centre

11.35pm Break
11.45am Transport for Independent Living, Clare Brothers of Charity

12.00pm Accessible Air Travel, Shannon Airport

12.20pm A User’s Perspective:
– Padraic Hayes
– Michael Lonergan
12.40pm Accessible Bus Travel, Bus Eireann

12.55pm Q&A

13.30pm Close

 

PRESS RELEASE

TRANSPORT FOR ALL

People with Disabilities are coming together on May 26th to highlight their continual exclusion from society
through lack of accessible transport options.

 

On the 26th of May, we people with disabilities in association with the Clare Citizens Information Centre, will come together to highlight the inaccessibility of the Irish transport network. This year we have been promised by the Irish government that our human rights will finally be recognised through ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability. Some 25 years after the introduction of Independent Living in Ireland we question the progress we have made when our basic access to society is still severely restricted through an outdated and inaccessible transport network.

 

On Friday May 26th, the Clare Leader Forum who work, with the support of the Center for Independent Living (CIL), to provide an independent voice on disability issues, are encouraging all people with disabilities to come together and highlight this growing issue. Dermot Hayes, who is a representative of the Forum, believes that this meeting is vital as “Equality for all when it comes to accessing publicly funded accessible transport is an issue for many people in county Clare and beyond. Because of our limited income, we, as people with disabilities, cannot continually afford to access private transport. We are very reliant on public services and the truth is they are far from adequate”.

 

Padraic Hayes, Chairperson of the Clare Leader Forum, is calling on the Minister for Transport to “help ease the isolation and loneliness people with disabilities are experiencing daily – people have become prisoners in their own homes and the state has an obligation to address this”. Although the Forum recognises that progress has been made in the last 25 years there are still major improvements to be made and for this to happen the government need to listen to the issues people are experiencing. The reality is that ‘’getting out of home independently of one’s family is impossible, to meet up with friends, go looking for a job or socialising is just not an option.’’

 

The Clare Leader Forum are calling on all people with disabilities, their supporters, families and friends to come together on the 26th of May, in the Temple Gate Hotel Ennis from 10.30 to 2pm.Several keynote speakers will be available on the day including representatives from the Brothers of Charity, Clare Bus, Shannon Airport, and Bus Eireann.

Everyone is welcome on the day and if you would like any further information or have any specific requirements for the day please contact Dermot Hayes on 086 1731955.

 

 

Clare PPN’s Social inclusion college taking action on its commitment to housing as a human right

Clare PPN’s letter to Councillors about the crisis for rental accommodation in the County

Ghost EstateAt Clare PPN’s Plenary Meeting on Feb 1st 2017 the members present agreed a motion to adopt a human rights approach to housing. This means that all of Clare PPN’s Representatives are mandated to engage with their various forums and committees from the perspective that every human has a right to adequate housing. As the situation for housing in Ireland and in Clare has become more and more critical the Social Inclusion College and its representatives have taken various actions to draw attention to the issues. Following a meeting of the Social Inclusion College on Thursday 2nd March those who attended decided to ask Dermot Hayes who is the PPN’s representative on the Social Development Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) which deals with housing to call for an emergency to be declared in the county. The reasoning for this was that it would ensure that attention was drawn to the worsening situation which those in need of housing assistance in the county found themselves. At the meeting of this SPC on March 7th Dermot was not successful in having his suggestion taken on board by the SPC. Following this it was decided by the Social Inclusion Representatives on Clare PPN Secretariat, on the Social Development SPC, on the Local Community Development Committee and on the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee that Clare PPN should write to all the Councillors in County Clare and ask for their ideas and suggestions on dealing with the issues. Clare PPN wrote to all Councillors on Friday May 12th and Clare PPN awaits their responses. A similar letter will be sent to TDs and Senators also.

Below is a copy of the letter which was sent to each elected Councillor

Clare Public Participation Network

Unit 1 Westgate Business Park,

Kilrush Road,

Ennis

086-1617375

 www.clareppn.ie

12/5/16

Dear Councillor

I am writing to you on behalf of Clare Public Participation Network’s Social Inclusion College to ask you to share your ideas and suggestions for addressing the current housing crisis in Clare. The Social Inclusion College is a grouping of those of our member groups who work to redress poverty, disadvantage and marginalisation in the County.  These community groups have become extremely concerned by the housing situation in Clare where there are 2505 households on the housing waiting list and where there have been no social houses completed since 2015. The Social Inclusion College is aware of the plans to develop social housing projects in several areas of Clare with Approved Housing Bodies and in Private Public Partnerships and of Clare County Council’s attempts to purchase and lease vacant houses but it is already clear that even these welcome efforts will not address the extent of the crisis that currently exists not to mind the situation which may be in evidence by the time these developments are completed.  The Social Inclusion College asked me to contact all of County Clare’s elected representatives and in particular you the Councillors, because it was felt that very often it is Councillors who are in direct contact with those in need of housing.

Clare PPN Social Inclusion College is extremely concerned at the effects of national policy directives which depend on the private rental sector to ameliorate the housing crisis. In Clare the figures are stark, on today’s date (12/5/17) there are a total of 70 properties available on Daft.ie for private rental in the County. It is the current situation that most of those presenting with housing needs in the County are now being directed towards the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) which relies on a supply of private rental accommodation being available and it is clear that there is not anywhere near a sufficient supply of properties available for long term rental in the county to ensure that people and families have access to secure homes. At the current maximum rate of HAP Payment there are a total of 20 properties available in the County.

Clare PPN Social Inclusion college acknowledges that Councillors in County Clare work very closely with people seeking housing and so we are asking you for your responses and ideas on dealing with the housing crisis so that we can let our members know how you envisage this situation being addressed and what actions you intend to take yourself or within your political party to ensure it is addressed. We would be more than happy to receive even a paragraph or some key points about this from you as we appreciate how valuable your time is.  We would be very much obliged if you would reply to us either by email to info@clareppn.ie or by post to the address above. Our members intend to circulate and/or publish the responses from each Councillor, TD and Senator on Clare PPN’s Website and social media channels and so we would like to receive all responses before Monday May 29th if at all possible.

Yours on behalf of Clare PPN’s Social Inclusion College

Mary O’Donoghue,

Clare PPN Secretariat and LCDC member.