Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has said there is an urgent need for an agreed definition of what constitutes homelessness so that the current confusion and spin over the March homelessness figures is brought to an end.

Deputy Murphy said:

“It is a total insult to families living in different types of temporary and emergency accommodation for the Housing Minister to be publicly questioning and undermining the homeless figure counts from local authorities.

“The Minister is sowing confusion with his claim this week that 600 people were mis-categorised by local authorities as homeless. It increasingly looks like he is trying to massage the homelessness figures to protect his own political reputation by keeping the figures for March below the 10,000 mark.

“If we can’t accurately measure a problem, then there is no way we can hope to tackle it and to hold the government accountable for addressing it. Instead of undermining local authorities, the Minister needs to work with them and with voluntary organisations to agree a robust and practical definition of what constitutes homelessness.”

ENDS

3 May 2018