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Mayor Holland welcomes publication of Focus Ireland report

21 September, 2015 - by Sarah Holland

Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Sarah Holland, has welcomed the publication of the Focus Ireland Annual Report.

She said

“Like my fellow alliance councillors, we are meeting families weekly who are either homeless or in imminent danger of losing their homes.

“It comes as no shock to us to see that Focus Ireland has stated that the rising rents and static rent supplement payments caused homelessness in families, 90% of whom had never been homeless before.

“The figures are startling – 450 families became homeless in 2014, including 1000 children.  I have spoken to some of them myself, and a lot of these cases were to do with landlords selling properties to take advantage of rising prices, or of landlords whose properties were being repossessed and the tenants were being unceremoniously evicted by receivers.

“Tenants are seen as cash cows.  We need to change our entire ethos about how tenants are viewed – leases should be long term and set in steel so that families can depend on a family home for as long as they want it.  We are in a situation now where families are being forced into the streets with nowhere to go and only the clothes on their backs.

“Minister Kelly’s plan relied heavily on private rented accommodation to solve the housing crisis, but there are very few landlords taking on rent allowance or HAP tenants – less than 1% in fact.

“This month’s council meeting in South Dublin County Council will focus heavily on the housing crisis.  It is something we in Sinn Féin have been warning about for years.

“We now see ourselves in an emergency situation which will only worsen if the Government does not take the bull by the horns.

“Solutions including private rented accommodation and modular housing have been mooted, but what we need to see is a programme of responsibly planned building across our county – the sooner the better.”

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