Record levels of people living in homelessness demands extension of eviction ban

Ivana Bacik TD
24 February 2023
  • 28% increase in homelessness year on year

Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik said the sharp increase in people living in homelessness in the month of January represents an abject failure by the Fine Gael Taoiseach to tackle the country’s most pressing crisis.

Calling for an extension to the eviction ban, Deputy Bacik said until Government delivers on housing targets, emergency housing measures are needed.

Deputy Bacik said:

“This government is simply not delivering on housing. They must start treating housing like the national emergency it is. For the seventh month in a row, there are record levels of people living in homelessness. The 11,754 people recorded in today’s statistics represent a systems failure in this country when it comes to housing.

“Year on year, an additional 2,604 people have entered homelessness (9,150 people were living in homelessness in January 2022). That is an abject failure of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil housing policy.

“In the past month alone, there has barely been any effort to help those most vulnerable in our housing system. There were 11 fewer children living in homelessness in January than in December, yet this means that 3,431 children are homeless. This is simply unacceptable.

“There has been a failure to protect renters through a strengthening of tenants’ rights – affordability and security of tenure must be key priorities for this government. Indeed, a lot of these people are people who are at work, who would normally be able to afford their own home, but are trapped in a rental sector that is out of control.

“It’s crucial now to extend the eviction ban and stem the levels of people entering homelessness from the private rental market.

“Extending the eviction ban is not a silver bullet but it provides the much needed breathing room to scale up the tenant in situ scheme and increase the delivery of much needed social and affordable homes.

“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, year on year.”

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