Tag Archives: Eoghan Murphy

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy

Sarah Bardon, in The Irish Times, reports:

Irish Water is to be separated from Ervia and established as a single national utility to operate the State’s water services.

The proposals, which were presented to Cabinet by Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy last Thursday for approval, will come into effect by 2023, The Irish Times has learned.

It is understood the plans, approved by Cabinet, will allow for Irish Water to become solely responsible for the production, distribution and monitoring of drinking water and for the provision of public waste-water services.

Currently the utility has service level agreements (SLAs) with local authorities to operate such services on its behalf, but under these new proposals such arrangements would be brought to an end by 2021.

Irish Water to become single national utility (The Irish Times)

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and the Department of Housing’s homeless figures for March 2018

Earlier this week.

The Department of Housing released the official homeless figures for March 2018.

The March figures stated that there were 9,681 homeless people in Ireland using emergency accommodation during the week March 19 to 25 of this year.

This was a drop of 126 from the homeless figure of 9,807 in February.

Breaking down the decrease, the March figures showed there were 17 fewer adults, 109 fewer children and 19 fewer families homeless.

It should be noted that the department’s figures include the numbers of people living in Private Emergency Accommodation, which includes hotels, B&Bs and other residential facilities that are used on an emergency basis; Supported Temporary Accommodation, which includes hostels or accommodation with onsite professional support and Temporary Emergency Accommodation, which includes emergency accommodation with no or minimal support.

Earlier this week, the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy claimed that some local authorities had incorrectly counted some people as homeless and that, overall, the figures were overstated by between 600 and 900.

Further to this…

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Bróin has released a statement, saying:

“This week, I have been talking to a large number of officials working in homeless services in Local Authorities and the voluntary sector, following Minister Murphy’s startling claim that 600 people were miscategorised by councils as homeless and wrongly included in earlier homeless figures.

“I am satisfied that the minister’s claim is false. These people, including many families with children are homeless and are in emergency accommodation arrangements funded by council’s homeless services.

“Despite this, the councils in question received an instruction to remove them from the March homeless report.

“The minister is guilty of knowingly manipulating the March homeless figures. In doing so, he has insulted the staff and management of the local authorities. Worse, he has insulted the adults and children who are homeless by trying to deny that they are living in temporary and emergency accommodation arrangements.

“Due to the dramatic rise in the number of families presenting as homeless and the lack of adequate emergency accommodation, councils across the country have had to develop ad hoc temporary emergency accommodation arrangements using a range of property types.

“None of these arrangements involve tenancy agreements. Rather, families are placed in temporary accommodation, while the council or voluntary sector organisations seek to secure the families permanent housing.

It is clear that Minister Murphy did not want the March figures to reflect the reality across the state, namely that levels of homelessness continued to rise and had finally breached the 10,000 number. Given that he claimed on Monday that most of the 600 people allegedly miscategorised have now been removed, it is clear that the true March figure is well in excess of 10,000.

“Minister Murphy must immediately clarify the situation. He must admit that he and his department officials instructed councils to remove families in emergency accommodation arrangements from the March homeless figures. He must apologise for the hurt his actions have caused. And he must republish the March homeless figures including all those people living in temporary emergency accommodation arrangements.

“Once again, Minister Murphy has shown that his priority is in the protection of his own political reputation rather than in solving the homeless crisis.”

Anyone?

Minister Murphy ‘knowingly manipulated March Homeless Figures’ – Ó Broin (Sinn Fein)

Rollingnews

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy (left) and Junior Housing Minister Damien English

“The key to solving the housing crisis is supply. This is one of 720 such sites around the country. There were about 7,000 social housing units built last year — 8,000 this year. That’s how you solve the housing crisis. Rebuilding Ireland wasn’t a plan for one year. It’s a five-year plan and is ahead of targets in many areas.”

Junior Housing Minister Damien English, April 11.

Eoghan Murphy last night who said local authorities built 1,014 houses in 2017, a further 761 were provided though Approved Housing Bodies, and 522 came from Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000. The remaining homes were completed in 2016.

Irish Examiner, April 20

A total of 780 social houses were built across the State last year, according to figures published by the Department of Housing.

Irish Times, this morning

Good times.

Total of 780 social houses built last year (Irish Times)

Rollingnews

Thanks Mel Reynolds

Readers may recall how The Irish Times yesterday published comments made by the outgoing chairman of the Housing Agency Conor Skehan.

Mr Skehan said some families living in emergency accommodation may be “gaming the system” by declaring themselves homeless in order to be moved up the housing waiting list.

Further to this…

At a meeting of the National Emergency Co-ordination Group this morning to review the impact of Storm Eleanor, in which Mr Murphy told journalists there was adequate preparation for the storm…

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy also told reporters he has seen no evidence of the so-called “gaming”, claimed by Mr Skehan, in his department.

Meanwhile…

Yesterday….

Related: Families in emergency housing ‘may be gaming the system’ (The Irish Times, January 2, 2018)

Pics: Dept of Housing

 

This morning.

At the former Longfields Hotel on Fitzwilliam Street Lower, Dublin 2.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy launched a new homeless facility containing 30 permanent emergency beds which will be managed by the Simon Community from tonight.

In a press release, Mr Murphy said:

This Christmas, there will be over 200 additional permanent emergency beds, with wrap around medical and other required supports in place for those who unfortunately are homeless and need our help.

“…The rough sleeper count, which the Dublin Region Homeless Executive published last month, reported a total of 184 rough sleepers across the Dublin region on the night of the 7th November 2017.

“The 200 permanent emergency beds, which the Government have now delivered, mean that an emergency bed and shelter will be available for those who need them.

“Today, the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and I were pleased to visit 30 of the new permanent emergency beds at Longfields, Fitzwilliam Street, which the Simon Community will operate and manage.

Additional 200 emergency beds and the Cold Weather Initiative (Rebuilding Ireland)

Rollingnews


Stop laughing.

This morning.

Beech Hill Terrace, Dublin 4

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar turn the sod on social housing units which are being developed by the Royal Hospital’s Voluntary Housing Association, and hopes to have 130 housing units on site by 2019.

At least some people are having FUN.

Rollingnews

Meanwhile…

Gulp.

Saturday.

Killiney, County Dublin

The Canadian Minister for the Environment & Climate Change Catherine McKenna and Minister for Housing Planning and Local Government Eoghan Murphy participate in a sea swim with the Irish Open Water Swimming community – including celebrated international, paralympic and channel Swimmers. Ms Mckenna was on a visit to Dublin to discuss climate action.

RollingNews

This morning.

The Irish Planning Institute annual conference.

The Gibson Hotel, Dublin

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said there has to be changes to planning and development laws to address some of the “ridiculous restrictions” on the efficient use of scarce and expensive building land.

Mr Murphy wants to lift the numerical height caps in the city cores and along key transport corridors.

He also said there needs to be a range of urban solutions including more studios, shared apartments and family units.

He is proposing shared accommodation models to bridge the gap between student accommodation and apartments.

Professionals would have their own en suite bedroom but would have to share a communal kitchen and living area.

He said this type of accommodation is working successfully in other countries for example “the Collective” in London.

His plans also include the removal of a mandatory requirement for parking within 1km of a DART, Lucas, urban rail link and quality bus corridor.

Fight!

Higher apartment buildings among Govt proposals to address housing crisis (RTÉ)

Rollingnews

Census 2016 figures and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy

You may recall the Census 2016 figures which showed 183, 312 vacant houses in Ireland – excluding vacant holiday homes.

And yesterday’s figures showing 8,160 people were registered as homeless in the last week of July.

Further to this…

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spoke to journalists following the emergency housing summit in Custom House this morning.

While speaking to them, Mr Varadkar raised the subject of vacant houses.

He said:

On the vacant house tax, that is something that’s under consideration but, again, a very interesting discussion with the Chief Executives today if you take for example Fingal or Galway where they’ve actually gone out to the individual houses to see how many are vacant while the CSO may say there’s a certain number and geocodes say there’s another number, when the council staff have actually gone out to the houses and apartments and knocked on doors, they’ve found that the numbers that are really vacant are actually much smaller than any of the figures show.”

Pic: Michael Lehane

Earlier: When Anthony Met The Housing Minister

This morning.

Outside Custom House.

Where an “emergency housing summit” is taking place in which the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy will meet CEOs of the local authorities across Ireland and their housing personnel.

And further to the Department of Housing releasing figures yesterday which show 8,160 homeless people – more than a third of whom are children – were living in emergency accommodation in the last week of July.

Anthony Flynn, of Inner City Helping Homeless, a voluntary group which has been helping homeless people in Dublin for the past four years, confronted Mr Murphy.

From their exchange:

Anthony Flynn: “We’ve looked for several meetings with you.”

Eoghan Murphy: “We have a huge amount of people…”

Talk over each other

Flynn: “We understand that. But ou’re bringing the CEOs in here today. The people who are actually on the ground, doing the work on a nightly basis, that are looking at these people that are dying on our streets. We’ve had five deaths in less than a week and your office has failed to communicate to us, with regard to…hang on, let me finish.”

Murphy: “Yeah, sorry.”

Flynn:Not only the work that we’re doing for the last four years on the streets but the My Name Is campaign has travelled this country in regards to child homelessness and the unprecedented levels of child homelessness that are happening at the moment. And yet we haven’t had the respect of a reply from your office.”

Your predecessor Simon Coveney would meet me in the Gresham Hotel on a weekly basis to discuss issues in regards to homelessness, yet your office couldn’t do that.”

“Now we’re here today, you’re calling in the CEOs of the local council. We’ve heard from the Housing SPC chair that the council haven’t got the money to build, that your department is not releasing that money to build housing, ok.”

“Now social housing can’t be built because the CEOs haven’t got a mandate because they haven’t got money.”

“So if they haven’t got the money, how are they expected to build. This meeting today could be a waste of time in our opinion if the CEOs are not being given the money from your department.”

Your department have consistently relied on the voluntary housing bodies, the voluntary housing bodies to build and look for money from Europe to build because your department doesn’t want to have to take that money.”

“Or Paschal Donoghue doesn’t want to have to take that money down because it affects your GDP and it affects the market.”

Murphy: “Can I respond? There’s not a problem with funding at all. This year we’re going to build four times as many social houses that we built in 2015 and we have more money to re-prioritise that into social housing as well.

“The local authorities have to work with the housing bodies to actually build new houses and that’s what we want to do. Hold on, I’m here talking to you now and I’ll talk to anyone about the issue but I’m working on this every day.”

“It’s a top priority for the Government and you need to understand that.”

“The reason the local authority chiefs are coming in today is because I’m funding them directly and they’re directly responsible to me. We’re building social housing and dealing with this crisis and that’s what we’re talking about today.”

Previously: How Many?

Via Sean Defoe

UPDATE:

How many is that exactly?

Oh.

Via NAMAwinelake

Meanwhile…

Inside the summit…

And outside…

Sean Defoe tweetz:

And the award for best prop at a photocall goes to Paul Murphy and Solidarity’s elephant in the room about homelessness.

Pics via Sean Defoe