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Detailed, long-term plan to tackle homelessness needed – Senator Kathryn Reilly

3 December, 2014

Speaking in the Seanad today Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn said it is hugely tragic that it has taken a citizen of the state to die on the doorstep of the Houses of the Oireachtas for the issue of homelessness to be taken seriously.

Speaking during statements on homelessness today Senator Reilly said:

“It’s hugely tragic that it has a taken a citizen of this state to die on our doorsteps for the issue of homelessness to be debated here.

“Last week’s housing announcement by this government had no inclusion of emergency measures to deal with the homelessness crisis.

“There are at least 2,580 adults and 798 children in emergency accommodation across the state.

“The vast majority are in Dublin and much of the rest in large urban centres like Cork and Limerick.

“For many, their reasons for being there are not complicated. They are simply victims of a housing crisis and an economic collapse which is still very real.

“People need immediate shelter and care.  But they also need a longer term plan, a home to move in to and protection in their homes from rent hikes and repossessions.

“Detailed plans for follow-on housing for those in emergency accommodation are needed, plans with targets and deadlines. The number of people sleeping rough, in hostels or on derelict, sites must be progressively reduced.

“Empty rental properties on the market should be used and occupied with those who need them. There must be regulation of the private market and investment in social housing.

“Only if we do this will the homeless and rough sleepers in this state be given the chance they deserve. The time is now for action, not words.”


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