Record homelessness in a week of record wastefulness

30 September 2022

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said the government’s failure to tackle homelessness is the greatest shame of modern Ireland.

With record numbers of people living in homelessness, Senator Moynihan said the unprecedented budget published this week is meaningless when it exists in a society where government policy is forcing more and more people onto the streets.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It is deeply distressing to learn that government policy when it comes to housing continues to fail. While Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have spent this week patting themselves on the back over Budget 2023, 3,220 children are living in emergency accommodation. With homelessness up 2% month on month, it’s abundantly clear that the Minister is lacking any motivation to address the housing disaster in Irish society.

“In the week that a record breaking budget was announced, it is reprehensible that we also have record breaking numbers of people living in homelessness.

“The government’s abject failure to control rents, to address the crisis in evictions or to provide sufficient levels of affordable housing have exacerbated these problems. We now see homelessness figures creeping up month by month again and children, young people and families are suffering most. We know that most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market which is why government intervention is so desperately needed.

“In advance of this year’s budget, Labour had two clear asks to protect the most vulnerable in the housing market against homelessness: an emergency eviction ban and a time-limited rent freeze. The failure of government to even attempt to address this crisis is shameful.

“Indeed, were the Government to move to formally recognise that every Irish person has the right to a home, we could begin to take their promises on homelessness for real. Instead, Government prefers stop-gap measures to buy them time rather than long-term preventative solutions as put forward by many in opposition.

“The money thrown around in this week’s budget copper fastened the gap between the “have lots” and “have nots”. It is shameful that government is failing to resolve the greatest societal issue of our time. No person should have to sleep rough tonight. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have had six years to turn this crisis around. But instead, things are just getting worse.”

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