Emergency focus need to combat sharp increase in homelessness

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
06 January 2023

Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has said the sharp increase of 27% in people living in homelessness in the month of November means an emergency focus is needed to combat yet another deplorable record set by the Minister for Housing and his Government.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It is absolutely deplorable that homelessness still breaking all records despite the eviction ban being put in place from the end of October.

“We have an opportunity over the winter for some breathing room and we need to put an emergency focus on combating this. The Minister should publish each month for the duration of the eviction ban, figures from local authorities how many tenants in situ schemes have been completed, how many are currently being processed and outline reasons why they do not go ahead. We need to start treating this like a national emergency. It is deeply distressing to learn distraction and a lack of government focus on this issue has increased homelessness by 27% from the same period last year.”

“The government’s half measures to control rents, to address the crisis in evictions or to provide sufficient levels of affordable housing have exacerbated these problems. We know that most people who enter homelessness come from the private rental market which is why government intervention is so desperately needed. We know from figures released by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) last week that people have nowhere to go if they are being evicted and they are overstaying which can pose other problems.

“It is shameful that the government is failing to resolve the greatest societal issue of our time. Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have had seven years to turn this crisis around but they have squandered the opportunity to fix this housing crisis and things are going from bad to worse month on month. We have to say stop.”

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