21 March 2017

Speaking ahead of today’s seminar on homelessness in the European Parliament, Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD commented:

“While it might be out of the headlines at the moment, Ireland’s homelessness crisis has not gone away- quite the opposite, with the most recent figures showing more than 7,000 people were homeless in January, including around 2,400 children. This is simply unacceptable in a country such as ours in 2017.

“I hope that today’s discussion in the European Parliament will shed further light on this issue and put pressure on the authorities to bring about the necessary change. We need to finally deal with the issue of supply- so far the Government has made many announcements with little delivery. As Mike Allen from Focus Ireland is due to highlight in Brussels later, we need to pull back from our reliance on private developers to build housing.

“I have long been calling on the Government to act with the sense of urgency that this crisis requires. For example, we are still waiting on the Department of Housing to carry out the audit of all empty homes that it promised last July, which with an estimated 13 per cent of housing stock lying empty, seems like an obvious step to take.

“Despite improvements in our economic situation, today’s seminar in Europe will hear that Ireland has the fastest rate of families being forced into homelessness across the EU, and with rents continuing to rise, there is a real danger that more and more people will be pushed onto the streets.”


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