Child First strategy needed to tackle homelessness

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
28 January 2022

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has expressed deep concern at the monthly homeless report for December 2021 published today.

Senator Moynihan said:

“There were 1,077 families in emergency accommodation in December and while this represents a slight decrease, it is clear that more needs to be done to prevent people reaching homelessness in the first place. The reality is that many people becoming homeless are coming from the private rental sector and are being pushed out due to the extortionate cost of renting in Ireland at the moment.

“The figures show that 2,451 children were living in emergency accommodation in December – an unacceptable figure. To think that these children woke up on Christmas morning living in such uncertainty is heart breaking and a poor reflection on modern Ireland. At the very least, in a crisis accommodation situation, the rights of a child should be at the heart of every decision made regarding a homeless family.

“That’s why we need to implement a child first strategy to ensure that no family with children is at risk of eviction from their home. Sustained periods of homelessness put enormous mental and physical pressure on parents and their families as life becomes a daily grind of uncertainty and instability which can quickly undermine the health and wellbeing of children who are already vulnerable. If homeless children continue to be treated this way the Rights of the Child in the Constitution won’t be worth the paper it’s written on and we will have failed our most vulnerable children.

“The housing and homelessness crisis is the biggest issues facing the country and is having a harmful effect on our children. It needs to be treated with the urgency it requires. The Minister needs to ensure that no child wakes up on Christmas morning in emergency accommodation again.”

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