Government spin cannot mask the stark reality of its failure to get to grips with the homeless crisis, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said today – as new figures show the number of homeless families and adults continues to rise.

Deputy Murphy was commenting on Department of Housing figures which show that a total of 8,270 people were living in emergency accommodation in August, including 5,222 adults and 3,048 children. This compares with 8,160 in July.

“No amount of government spin can mask the stark reality of today’s figures, which show that the number of children in emergency accommodation has risen above 3,000 for the first time. These children and their families are being most abysmally failed by this government. They face enormous stress, hardship and stigma on a daily basis, and the best many can expect is the prospect of moving from a hotel room into a so-called family hub.

“This is a housing emergency brought on by government policy, and the sluggish pace of the government’s response amounts to tinkering, which is just not good enough. Where is the urgency to construct social and affordable housing on a massive scale, to tackle land hoarding, and to put in place comprehensive measures to help people struggling with sky rocketing rents?

“The Social Democrats strongly believe that the government needs to move to a war footing to tackle this emergency. This would mean stringent penalties to end land hoarding, proper controls to link rent increases to the actual cost of living, and the setting up a Housing Delivery Agency to ensure the acquisition and development of public land-banks, with good social and tenure mix while achieving economies of scale across sites.”

ENDS

29 September 2017