Minister Murphy’s failure to act has resulted in homeless figures increase

27 February 2019

Labour Housing Spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan TD, has expressed continued frustration at the rising homeless figures published today. There was an increase of 234 people nationally presenting as homeless.

Speaking today Deputy O’Sullivan said;

“These figures are just another reminder of how unfit for purpose Rebuilding Ireland has become, and 234 additional people homeless in the month of January is unacceptable. The number of homeless people is now just 13 shy of 10,000, and this figure includes 3,624 children.

“Yet another January with increases in homeless. This happens on an annual basis, and it shows that the same patterns are not being recognised by the government and not being addressed. How many more times will these numbers go up before the Minister takes action? 

“The most effective action the Minister can take is to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place and the most effective way to do that is to stop eviction notices and rent hikes in the private sector. We know that most of the people who become homeless have been renting in the private market.

“The Minister has been promising to update the legislation governing the private rented sector for some time but there has been no action. On behalf of the Labour Party, I have repeatedly called for the loopholes to be closed that are allowing landlords to end tenancies for spurious reasons like refurbishment, sale, a family member moving in etc….very frequently this never happens and, in the case of sale, there should be no requirement for vacant possession and this should be banned in law.

“Rent pressure zone limits are also being breached and a rent register that would allow a new tenant to know what the previous rent was is urgently needed as well as extending rent control to the whole country as homelessness grows outside of Dublin. Minister Murphy has promised the delivery of the rent register on numerous occasions but it has yet to be delivered.

“I am calling on Minister Murphy to take these measures now to stop the horror of homelessness that so many families and individuals dread.

“The Government must ramp up the construction of social and affordable homes on publically owned lands. Labour has committed to spending €16 billion over five years which would deliver 80,000 homes.”

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