Fine Gael must take responsibility for housing policy failures
The ever rising number of homeless children shows the abject failure of FGs housing policy said Labour Housing Spokesperson Jan O’Sullivan TD as March figures published today show 3,821 children without a home, an increase of 37 on February.
Speaking today Deputy O’Sullivan said:
“Another month shows the inexorable rise in the number of homeless children in Ireland, a shocking indictment of the failure of Rebuilding Ireland. It’s time now for Fine Gael to take responsibility for the abject failure of their housing policy.
“This national crisis of nearly 4,000 children without a home is a public policy failure that the Government has lost control of. It is a national scandal that the figures continue to rise, while the Ministers in charge refuse to consider changing their approach.
“In the last two months we’ve seen the figures of homeless children increase by nearly 200. The problem is getting worse. There appears to be no end in sight, and three years into this government the volume of social housing that is needed has not been delivered, nor is there any sign of it coming.
“What the Labour Party has consistently called for is a cap on rents, and action to restrict the grounds for eviction. I fail to understand why Fine Gael is refusing to act on this.
“We know what the solutions are, but for ideological reasons the Government refuses to budge, despite over 10,000 people now homeless.
“The most effective action the Minister can take to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place 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.
“With every month that passes we wait for legislative action from the Minister but his proposals amount to tinkering at the edges. 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. This is an emergency and requires emergency action.
“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.”