Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has said the latest increase in homeless people is a scandal, with children accounting for more than one in three of those living in emergency accommodation.

Deputy Murphy said:

“The latest official homeless figures are a scandal and the Fine Gael Government is simply incapable of dealing with the housing crisis. For the sixth month in a row now the number of people officially classified as homeless has remained above 10,000 with a total of 10,275 in July 2019. This amounts to 6,497 adults and 3,778 children in emergency accommodation – an increase of 103 children on the June figures.

“These children and their families are being most abysmally failed by this government. Many children are starting new school terms living in hotel rooms and so-called ‘family hubs,’ and will have to endure enormous stress, hardship and stigma on a daily basis.

“This is a housing emergency brought on by government policy, and the sluggish pace of the government’s response 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. We need to see a nationwide rent freeze and a Land Development Agency with real teeth and with much more ambitious housing delivery targets.”

ENDS

2nd September 2019