First National Director of Housing First Programme Appointed

by Jordan Upshaw

Bob Jordan, former chief executive of the not-for-profit housing organisation Threshold has been appointed the very first national director of the Housing First programme.

The announcement was made by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy following the Rebuilding Ireland Housing Summit on Monday, January 22.

As National Director, Jordan will work with local councils and approved housing bodies to organise a coordinated cross government approach to the Housing First programme.

Dublin Simon Community CEO Sam McGuinness said of the appointment: “This position will play a vital role in expanding Housing First service delivery. (Bob Jordan) brings the dedication, experience and capability required take on the challenge at hand. We at Dublin Simon Community, look forward to working with Mr. Jordan and wish him every success in this important role.”

The appointment of a national director is part of the government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan for housing and homelessness.

Current Threshold chief executive John-Mark McCafferty said of the decision: “For the past number of years Threshold has been advocating for the introduction of a model that addresses situations where people find themselves in long term emergency accommodation or at immediate risk of homelessness, through the provision of secure tenancies.

“The appointment of a national director for the Housing First programme comes as an encouraging sign of the Government’s commitment to expand the programme as a meaningful way to address the housing crisis.”

The appointment of a national director is something Threshold has been campaigning for since the launch of their Access Housing Unit (AHU) in January 2003.

AHU operates similarly to Housing First by sourcing private rental accommodation for those who are homeless or are at immediate risk of homelessness.

Minister Murphy also announced the introduction of new legislation which if passed would make it illegal for landlords to breach rent increase limits in rent pressure zones.

He said: “Rent pressure zones will not be fully effective unless they are properly enforced. We look forward to seeing this legislation and we would urge the Minister to move on this as a priority. In order for this to work we are looking for a publicly accessible and searchable rent register.”

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