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Homeless crisis is a state emergency despite government spin - Ellis

26 May, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has said that government need to be honest with the public and themselves by admitting the homeless crisis has reached the level of an emergency and requires strong action and not more spin.

He made his comments in response to figures from Focus Ireland showing a record 71 families had been referred to homelessness services in the month of April.

Deputy Ellis continued;

"The rate at which the number of families experiencing homelessness is increasing particularly in Dublin is beyond a crisis it is an emergency for the state. We now have over 1000 children in emergency accommodation and that is increasing every week.

"We need strong measures to tackle the causes of homelessness. Minister Bruton admitted to me this week that no legislation is planned for rent certainty to be implemented as promised by Minister Kelly.

"A system to control rents at a fair level to stop the flow of tenants into homelessness is needed immediately.The government have to stop dragging their heels. We also need greater protection for rent supplement tenants against discrimination and eviction because landlords want more rent from the private market.

"The government have committed to build just 167 homes in Dublin by the end of 2017. This is not good enough. Significant funds need to be invested now in building homes to move people out of hotels and hostels. 1 billion euro from the Strategic Investment Fund could build over 6000 new homes and is three times what the Minister plans to spend up until 2017.

"We also need a one stop shop for dealing with homeless and at risk families in Dublin as well as stronger power for Local Authorities to compel speculators to use properties for housing."

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