Shocked but not surprised - The IHREC/ERSI Report on Adequate Housing
This month the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission/ERSI report on Adequate Housing was released. The report made for grim reading and unfortunately, though shocked by the findings, we weren't surprised. The report found that less than 25 per cent of lone parents reported home-ownership, compared with 70 per cent of the total population. The report also found that lone parents had higher rates of affordability issues (19 per cent) when compared to the general population (5 per cent) and were particularly vulnerable to housing quality problems such as damp and lack of central heating (32 per cent compared to 22 per cent of total population).
Karen Kiernan, One Family CEO, said “Unfortunately we are not surprised by the findings of the report. It confirms a lot of what we hear from parents and children through our services. We are hearing reports daily of parents living in substandard accommodation, being blocked from work due to HAP restrictions and waiting months for emergency accommodation. We are calling on the Government to urgently develop a family homelessness strategy, which includes targeted measures for one-parent families. We were disappointed that no provision for such a strategy was made in the Government’s Housing For All Strategy; this was a missed opportunity. What this report makes clears is Government must act now to protect children in one-parent families. Yet again we are asking them to use the evidence in-front of them.
We agree with the UN Rapporteur Balakrishnan Rajagopal that the treatment of one-parent families in Ireland raises serious questions for the Irish Government and that they must act now. Thousands of children are spending their childhoods growing up in emergency accommodation – most of them living with one parent. If we don’t want this to be the Mother & Baby Home scandal of the future – we must prioritise those most in need for housing and the Government must act now as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing has said.”