Urgent action needed to tackle homelessness crisis- O’Sullivan

27 February 2018

Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said the Government is not doing enough to address the homelessness crisis, with the latest official figures showing a rise in the number of homeless people accessing emergency accommodation in January.

The figures from the Department of Housing show there were more adults, families and children homeless last month compared to December.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“These latest homelessness figures are alarming and show the crisis is getting worse.

“There are now 5,837 adults, including 1,517 families and 3,267 children homeless in our State. This represents an increase on the December figures, when there were 5508 adults, as well as 1,408 families and 3,079 children reported as homeless. These are all real people and real lives being impacted by this crisis.

“While their intentions may be well placed, these figures show the Government is failing to get to grips with this crisis.

“Targets set under Rebuilding Ireland to get families out of hotels by 2016 have not been met and targets for Rapid Build and Local Authority are also missing the mark. There is a complete lack of a sense of urgency from Government in giving this most critical issue that faces so many of our fellow-citizens the attention and focus needed to speed up delivery of long-term solutions.

“The impact of homelessness on children in particular can be devastating, and I am particularly alarmed at the statement from the INMO today that babies who are living in hotels are not reaching their developmental milestones.

“These milestones are critical for each child’s future and this has to be a wake up call for Government to replace spin with action for these most vulnerable families.”

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