The current homelessness crisis in Ireland is no accident. It has has arisen as a result of insufficient efforts to tackle growing inequality, poverty and the provision of social housing.
The provision of housing was a mainstay of Irish policy for decades. In times of much greater hardship and economic strife than the present, successive governments were able to provide homes for people living in poverty or vulnerable situations.
As recently as the mid-1970s, social housing made up 33% of all newly built houses. Yet, during the housing boom in the early and mid 2000s, social housing never reached 10% of total housing output. Since 2008, spending on social housing has all but dried up. The 2015 budget included the first substantial provision for spending on social housing in many years.