Louth homelessness figures ‘deeply alarming’ – Adams
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams has described the “slight decline in homeless figures for the constituency as deeply alarming and evidence of the government’s failure to effectively deal with the issue of housing”.
Teachta Adams was commenting on the December 2017 figures from the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government.
Gerry Adams said:
“There has been the very slight drop of three adults in the numbers registered as homeless in the North East between November and December. The numbers dropped from 148 to 145. The number of homeless in Louth is 139. This is evidence of an ineffectual response by the government to the problem of homelessness.
“The December figures should also be set against the December figures of 2016. One year ago, there were 116 citizens registered as homeless in the North East, 111 of these in Louth. In December 2016, there were 18 families registered as homeless. Last month, that figure as 33. In December 2016, 36 dependents (children) were registered as homeless. Last month, that number was 85.
“Clearly, the trend in terms of homelessness continues to be upward. The government needs to do more. For example, landlords issuing vacant possession notices to quit when selling their property are the single biggest driver of family homelessness. The Government must end its opposition to tabling legislation to deal with this issue.
“The government must also adopt far more ambitious Housing First targets. Under Rebuilding Ireland, only 200 additional Housing First tenancies have been created. Minister Murphy should make a commitment to increase the number to 1,000.
“Also, not enough is being done to purchase turnkey homes, not for sale on the open market, to get families out of emergency accommodation. 1,800 properties have been offered to the Government in the last 12 months with just 429 purchased.
“These three actions, if implemented in a consistent and ambitious way, would have a real impact on the homeless crisis.”