Government must focus on rental sector to end youth homelessness

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
19 April 2021

Labour housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan called on the Minister for Housing to urgently publish the actions agreed for the Youth Homelessness Strategy and called for a particular focus on renters.

Senator Moynihan said:

“Young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic as we see numbers of youth unemployment continue to skyrocket. Young people are also more likely to be living in the private rental market, experiencing some of the highest rents in Europe. At the last general election, Labour laid out a strategy to protect renters by freezing rents, bringing in long terms tenancies and banning no fault eviction.

“We also thinks there needs to be a greater focus on funding and delivering housing first.The numbers of young adults becoming homeless is Ireland has risen in the past number of years and while experiencing homelessness is a horrific experience for anyone at any age, there are greater risks associated with youth homelessness.

“At a time of a housing crisis and during the worst global health crisis in 100 years, there is a need for a special strategy to end the cycle of homelessness for young people.

“Homeless teenagers who are estranged from their families are not even counted in homeless figures and more resources need to be targeted at this critical age group. There are 741 people homeless between the age of 18 and 24 and we need a specific youth homeless strategy targeted at this age group.

“It’s welcome that the Taskforce has developed a strategy but we need to see it implemented with a sense of urgency. Specifically, it should include a housing first approach to long-term youth homelessness, giving these young people places to live and then wrapping supports and services around them.”

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