Third highest levels of homelessness in a row
Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said local authorities must be empowered by government to protect anyone else from falling into homelessness this winter.
With homelessness up 29.5%, Senator Moynihan said it’s time for government to take radical action to deal with the housing disaster.
Senator Moynihan said:
“It’s a national disgrace that almost 11,000 people are living in homelessness. There are 3,342 children living in homelessness at present, and total homelessness is up 29.5%. Ensuring that people have a place to call home is a marker of a fair society. Unfortunately when it comes to building homes and protecting people from entering homelessness, this Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael government are failing fast. Ireland’s housing policy simply is not working.
“So, while there’s a Junior Fine Gael Minister out on the airwaves cribbing about no nativity crib this year, the reality is that 1,532 families are without a crib right now and are facing a very grim Christmas. This government would be better off focusing on what can be done to protect people from entering homelessness – building social housing and not allowing the private rental sector to continue running amuck.
“Local authorities must be mandated to use the months of an eviction ban to map out people at risk of homelessness in the private rental sector, and to remove red tape and hesitation where there is a tenant in situ and buy the property. A report compiling this data must be delivered to the Housing Minister in January so he can prepare for the lifting of the ban and prevent any potential crisis for those at risk.
“Local authorities are working hard to stop people falling into homelessness, but with family homelessness up 52% to 1,532, it’s clear that they need more teeth. The Minister must scale up the tenant in situ scheme and remove red tape to ensure that where a landlord is leaving the market, the tenant can remain in their home. We need to shrink our reliance on the Private Rental Sector to fulfil our social housing needs. This is the most efficient way of doing this. We can’t continue with our two tier system of social housing – propping up landlords while tenants can be evicted when their landlord decides to sell.
“This is no time for business as usual. The scale of the housing disaster must be addressed through extraordinary measures. We have seen as a nation what the State is capable of when it intervenes to protect people. It’s time for this Government to step up and take its responsibility to protect people from homelessness seriously.”