Is there any end in sight for the homelessness crisis?
Commenting on the homelessness figures released by the Department of Housing today, Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik TD said:
“The scale of the permanent homelessness crisis beggars belief. 12,827 people are now recorded as living in homelessness, and the Minister seems to have accepted this as a fait accompli.
“There is no acceptable level of homelessness.
“Housing has persistently been a weak point for this Government. We have seen consistent increases in the numbers of people and families entering homelessness under its watch.
“Whether it is lack of ambition or lack of capacity, we will leave it to the public to decide.
“There’s clearly no sense of urgency on the adoption of necessary measures to address homelessness from this Government.
“The chronic housing crisis is one of the many reasons Labour called for the introduction of an Emergency Empty Homes Fund in our alternative budget this month. If Government focused on tackling vacancy and dereliction nationwide, even bringing back a fraction of the empty homes into use, we could solve the homelessness crisis.
“There are tens of thousands of vacant properties and we still have no concrete measures or strategy from the Government to address this.
“The scale of the housing crisis is touching almost every person in this country. Working families who cannot now afford to buy a home of their own; renters who are crippled by high rents; those waiting for years on Council housing lists – all need hope that their housing needs will be met.
“The abject failure to protect anyone on the sharp edge of the housing crisis is symptomatic of this Government’s approach in failing to tackling the Civil Rights issue of this generation.”