Govt failing to get to grips with housing and homelessness crisis

31 October 2019

Reacting to the latest homelessness figures, Labour Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, said:

“Unfortunately, today’s homelessness figures , which show another 25 children are now living in emergency accommodation, reveal a worrying and consistent trend.

“For eight months now, the overall homelessness figures have been at over 10,000 people, and yet again today we’ve seen another rise of 59 people in total.

“Quite simply, these figures are a sign that the Government’s housing strategy has failed and is continuing to fail.

“What is so tragic about this is that children are being caught up in this failure.

“On a night like this when many children are looking forward to trick or treating with their friends, it is unacceptable that there are also 3,873 children with no home of their own.

“In the immediate term we need to put children at the heart of any decision made regarding a family that becomes homeless, which Labour’s Homeless Families Bill would address, and I call on the Government to progress this legislation.

“Overall, we have a real issue with affordability in the rental sector and we have a real issue with a lack of housing.

“The reality is that the 4 per cent rent cap in rent pressure zones is simply too high and has failed to control spiralling rent, pushing many into desperate situations.

“It’s time to freeze rents for a period of time and give renters a much-needed break.

“There are also not enough social and affordable houses being built. Labour has a plan to build 80,000 homes over a period of five years which would go some way toward addressing the crisis.

“Instead of giving the same old response, the Government has to act with the sense of urgency this crisis demands.”

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