Minister Murphy receives another failing grade on Childhood Homelessness

26 February 2019

Labour Housing spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan has described as ‘damning, yet unsurprising’ the news that the Child and Family Homelessness has been downgraded from an E grade to an F grade, by the Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card, 2019. Deputy O’Sullivan agrees that with CRA’s call to declare a housing emergency.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Today’s report is a serious indictment of the failings of Fine Gael, and Minister Murphy in particular, to tackle the Childhood Homelessness crisis in Ireland. As someone who has watched this crisis grow over the lifetime of this government, and has warned the government time, and time again, that more has to be done; I cannot say I find the result surprising.

“Today’s report from the CRA calls for the government to ‘declare a housing emergency and commit to taking all feasible measures to address the shortage of housing.’ This recommendation has been made many times by opposition TDs including by myself and my Labour colleagues. The Dáil voted in a majority for the ‘Raise the Roof’ cross-party motion on this issue too. How many times, and in how many ways does Minister Murphy need to be told it is time to take action?

“I wrote the Homeless Families Bill, in 2017 which is designed to ensure that families with children have the needs of those children properly considered. This Bill prioritises the need of homeless families with children, yet has been ignored by Minister Murphy despite having cross-party support. The government has not produced its own equivalent legislation.

“Anyone who has a realistic grasp of homeless knows that homelessness is one of the hardest challenges any child can face. Yet what have we seen from Fine Gale on this issue? A continued lack of supply, an almost complete surrender of responsibility to the private market, and unfair changes to rules around housing which could see families moved off the housing list for up to 5 years.

“Minister Murphy clearly does not understand the complexity of family and childhood homelessness. Rebuilding Ireland has failed families and children living in homelessness. The Minister must wake up to the reality of this crisis, and put families and children first.”

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