Sinn Féin housing spokesperson, Dessie Ellis TD, is blaming Fine Gael and Labour for the rise in homelessness. He was speaking as the Peter McVerry Trust released its annual report showing record numbers in need of hot meals, emergency shelter or residential placement.
Deputy Ellis said:
"It is clear to see that the policies of austerity pursued by this government are to blame for an increase in homelessness, rough sleeping, housing need and general levels of deprivation. We have seen massive cuts to the housing budget as well as cuts to community supports, voluntary bodies and health services for homelessness people.
“This makes a farce of the government's commitment to end long-term homelessness by 2016. The state is failing, not due an inability to achieve this aim, but because of unwillingness to make political decisions to make it a reality. The housing needs of the most vulnerable are not a priority for this government and that is to their eternal shame.
“Peter McVerry is a noted campaigner and has a track record of dealing with homelessness head on. The Peter McVerry Trust and other charities and organisations working to end homelessness are to be commended but also listened to.
“They are calling for real political intervention to stop this human tragedy. I support that call and demand that this government make the hard choices and delivers homes for people who so desperately need them. Deadlines, targets and aspirations mean nothing without the action to realise them.
“The government must be mindful of this as we approach the budget period. Even small cuts further inflicted on housing and social supports will have massive and tragic repercussions.” ends