Preventing evictions key to preventing increases in homelessness
- Eviction ban must be immediately reinstated
- Urges introduction of Labour’s Homeless Families Bill
- Homelessness greatest shame of modern Ireland
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Government to reintroduce the eviction ban as official homeless figures record 12,691 people living without a home.
Deputy Bacik said:
“There is no acceptable levels of homelessness. My thoughts are with the 12,691 people, 3,895 of whom are children, who have been utterly failed by this Government’s disastrous housing policy.
“It’s particularly devastating to see an increase in child homelessness. Government simply cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand.
“There can be no further delay – Labour are demanding the reintroduction of the eviction ban to protect all people living in housing insecurity.
“Politics is about choices, and so far, Government have made all the wrong ones – the callous lifting of the temporary no-fault eviction ban, the failure to invest in increased supply of apprentices and construction workers, the lack of ambition on building the level of housing that Ireland desperately needs – it’s just not good enough.
“Children with no home to go to after school, people couch surfing with friends, hostel accommodation, moving from one place to another. It’s outrageous and the buck stops with Minister O’Brien and this Government.
“Rather than running scared from the homelessness crisis, Government should instead learn from best practice in other countries.
“Take Finland for example. Homelessness has fallen sharply following the introduction of a “Housing First” concept. People living in homelessness receive shelter and counselling with no preconditions. Four in every five people make their way back to stable living. Why can’t Government develop a similar scheme here?
“Earlier this week the Labour Party launched its campaign to raise awareness of the huge volume of vacant and derelict buildings and sites that lie empty throughout the country. Having one vacant home is one too many – particularly given that 12,691 people, 1,886 families, are without a home tonight.
“We would urge anyone with knowledge of a vacant property in their local area to let the us know, and to seek the inclusion of the property on the vacant and derelict sites registers held by their local authorities.
“At a time of unprecedented economic growth, Government incompetence, escalating house prices and the high cost of living have contributed to a situation where Ireland is now among the most expensive countries in the world. These factors have also had a knock-on effect of forcing more and more people onto the streets. 12,691 people know the cruel reality of this only too well.”