Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has condemned the news from the Dublin Homeless Regional Executive that 174 families are being put up in hotels around Dublin city because no housing can be provided for them. He described the situation as undeniable evidence that the state was failing to address homelessness.
Deputy Ellis said:
"I have dealt with families across the city who have been put up in hotels once they became homeless. Many of these families have felt completely insecure in this accommodation and in some cases hotels have decided not to allow them to continue staying there. Recently I had to work with a family who were forced to walk the streets after a hotel evicted them.
“This kind of short term measure to deal with people experiencing homelessness flies in the face of the government’s proposed ‘housing-led’ strategy and commitments to end homelessness by 2016.
“Some people are in these hotels for 3 to 4 weeks at a time. I have worked with people who have had to stay in them for 2 months or more until the hotel said they would throw them out and the council was forced to act.
“Not only is this not a solution to the crisis of homelessness, but it is also a massive drain on resources. If the 174 rooms cost a modest average of €80 each, that would amount to €14,000 a night or an extraordinary €98,000 a week. This is wildly in excess of what it would cost to house these families immediately if the government had the courage and political will to do this.
“This cannot be allowed to continue.
“Funding should be used to provide people with secure, long term housing and not thrown at hotels to sweep the problem under the carpet.”