Causes of homelessness must be tackled by government - Ellis
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has welcomed announcements by the government of additional beds for emergency accommodation, but says more needs to be done to stop people becoming homeless and to move people out of emergency accommodation into housing.
He made his comments in the Dáil for a special debate on homelessness following the death of Jonathan Corrie which resulted in the holding of an emergency summit on homelessness by the government.
Deputy Ellis continued:
"Right now we have the most extreme crisis in emergency accommodation that we have seen. The providers are operating above capacity trying to deal with unprecedented demand. But we must not lose sight of the reality that this is a bigger problem than a lack of emergency beds.
“This problem is the result of a decade long
housing crisis which has been exacerbated in recent years due to massive cuts
to housing budget leading to a supply of homes well below demand. The
government literally put people on the street over the last three years with
austerity measures such as cutting and capping rent supplement, cutting the
young person’s dole and refusing to build council homes while cutting
“We do, right now need more emergency beds but we also need a serious housing strategy which invests in housing. The government have only offered spin with their strategy which does not promise any significant increase in funding for housing provision. We need to have less people becoming homeless, we need to have less people stuck in emergency accommodation and we can only do this with protection of tenancies, rent controls and more housing."