Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Homeless jobseekers under 26 still failed by the government: disappointment at failure to address consistent poverty of jobseekers under 26 who are homeless and at risk. Nominal €5 increase does not restore safetynet

Investment in funding for Social Housing, Housing Assistance Payment Scheme and Emergency Accommodation welcomed. Long awaited increase in Direct Provision Allowance also welcomed.

Crosscare, the social agency of the Dublin archdiocese, has expressed disappointment again at the continued failure of the Government to restore the full adult rate of Jobseekers Allowance for adults under 26 experiencing homelessness in Budget 2019. Jobseekers under 26 who are homeless and at risk continue to be pushed to the edge, excluding them from the economic recovery that should leave no one behind.

Conor Hickey, Crosscare CEO said: “The renewed investment in social housing, HAP and emergency accommodation is again welcomed and vital to address the ongoing housing and homeless crisis. It is alarming that the homeless crisis has increased over the past year and will continue to do so, therefore the increased investment in the provision of homeless services is undoubtedly necessary. However, the security of tenure remains to be a major problem for the people we work with, and HAP remains a short term solution for those with long term housing need.

“The increase of €5 per week on all primary social welfare payments is welcome for all those managing on a lower budget, and will help many households that Crosscare works with. It does not, however offer a fair deal for homeless jobseekers under 26 who still experience the same cost of living as other adults. It puts them at further risk and deepens the barrier to their movement out of homelessness and onto a jobpath.”

"Crosscare Youth Services were once again disappointed with the small increase of just €1.5m in the national youth-work budget for 2019. This increase will do little to address the massive cuts of 31.7% suffered by the youth sector during the recession, and with a growing youth population demands on services are continually increasing with waiting lists in many services. We would like to see quality youth-work services available to all young people in Ireland.

With most of the increase being targeted at new initiatives, Crosscare’s long established youth services are unlikely to see any noticeable increase in their funding to tackle the growing issues of youth mental health, youth unemployment, early school leaving and social exclusion."

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