Cian O'Callaghan TD

The latest homelessness figures are a shocking indictment of the Government’s failure to deliver social and affordable homes

The latest homelessness figures highlight the Government’s failure to deliver on social and affordable housing, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s Housing spokesperson, said:

“Figures released today show the highest number of people experiencing homelessness and living in emergency accommodation ever recorded. There are now 10,975 people living in emergency accommodation, with 3,342 of them children.

“The number of people in emergency accommodation has increased by 29 percent in the past year, while the number of children is up by 43 percent during the same period. These figures lay bare the grim reality of the Government’s failed housing plan.

“The Minister for Housing has stated that his plan is to end homelessness by 2030, yet halfway through his term, the number of people living in emergency accommodation has reached record levels.

“At the heart of this issue is the Government’s abysmal record on building social and affordable housing.

“Of the 9,000 new build social housing units promised for 2022, just 1,765 were delivered in the first half of this year. The Government also promised to deliver 4,100 cost rental and affordable purchase homes, of which just 625 were built in the first nine months of this year.

“The Department of Housing is currently 30 percent behind on spending its capital allocation this year, according to the latest Fiscal Monitor published by the Department of Finance.

“I’m calling on the Minister for Housing to explain why his Department is underspending its capital allocation and to urgently take action to ramp up the delivery of social homes.

“He should also increase the vacancy tax to a more punitive rate to bring tens of thousands of empty homes back into use.

“Homelessness causes huge suffering to those who experience it and can have lasting effects on the development of a child. The Minister needs to come out and explain why he is failing to meet his social housing delivery targets and outline what urgent action he is going to take to address the homelessness crisis.”

October 28, 2022

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