Social and affordable housing needed to prevent families becoming homeless

28 March 2018

Labour spokesperson on Housing, Deputy Jan O’Sullivan, has slammed the latest homeless figures as being ‘shocking’ and ‘unacceptable’ and says the Government needs to start supplying social and affordable housing as a matter of urgency.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“I am appalled at the latest figures which show more than 1,700 families and nearly 4,000 children in this state are now homeless.

“While other issues may have been dominating the headlines this week, today’s figures show that the homelessness crisis is actually getting worse.

“Action is needed immediately to deal with this unacceptable situation.

“Supply is a critical factor here; the state has to start rapidly building social and affordable housing to prevent families from falling into homelessness.

“There are already 700 publicly owned sites that have been identified for mixed tenure development, as well as thousands of vacant homes dotted around the country which are the low-hanging fruit option that we need to avail of in this current housing emergency.

“Measures are also needed to deter developers from hoarding land and sites until they become more profitable. For some time now Labour has been calling for the recommendations of the Kenny Report to be implemented to deal with this aspect.

“Rapid Build seems to have almost disappeared from the Government’s agenda while there are many examples in neighbouring countries where different rapid-build models are providing homes rather than hotels and hubs for families.

“People in desperate situations need to see determination, energy and urgency in the actions of Government and Housing Authorities. Only then will these unacceptable figures go down rather than up each month.”

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