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Children sleeping rough ‘reveals abject failure of government approach’ – Ellis

14 August, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has condemned the government for their failure to tackle homelessness which has resulted in a family with three children not being able to be accommodated by homeless services in Dublin last night.

He said that this revealed that the government was failing completely to address homelessness and housing need having delayed the crisis temporarily with additional beds in December 2014.The family were able to stay the night in the offices of Inner City Helping Homeless thanks to the efforts of Focus Ireland. 

Deputy Ellis said:

“Homelessness is at a level not seen in the history of the state. We have tens of thousands of people in unaffordable rental situations that are at risk of losing their homes. If they lose their home, they are dependent on emergency accommodation which is hopelessly underfunded, if they have children they are relying on hostels and hotels which are oversubscribed and unsuitable anyway.

“The reason for this is this government’s utter failure to address housing need for over 4 years, its failure to address rising rents caused by this shortage of housing and its cuts to the supports which families rely on in order to afford to keep in their homes. The solution is to provide housing, to boost homeless funding and to tackle unaffordable rents. The government refuse to do any of these things and that is why we have this crisis on our hands which gets worse by the day.

“The government would build a mere 167 homes in Dublin by the end of 2017. We need to invest in building thousands of homes each year. We need to boost homelessness funding while we build these homes to ensure that emergency accommodation is in place while we build new homes. We must also set in place a system to make rents affordable to stop the flow of tenants into homelessness.

“People experiencing homelessness in Dublin has risen by 55% so far this year and has easily doubled since last year. Just last month, 70 families who had never experienced homelessness lost their homes; this is a developing situation. The numbers are growing and if we do not take extreme measures to tackle it then we will only let it get worse. We cannot wait out this crisis, it requires a government which will make it a real priority and take action.” 

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