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Housing crisis is a national emergency – Cullinane

23 September, 2015 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Fein’s David Cullinane has described the current housing shortage as nothing short of a national emergency. Speaking during debate in the Seanad, Senator Cullinane said:

“The housing crisis is out of control with the supply of rental homes at an all-time low.

“A recent Rental Report shows that rents are rising for a short supply of available homes which in turn is pushing people into homelessness and emergency accommodation. 

“The figures released from Daft show the supply of rental homes is at the lowest point in a decade, with an overall increase of 8.2% in rent prices across the country from the same time last year.  

“Rising rents are continuing to cause homelessness across the country with the result that we have more than 1,300 children and 3,000 adults in emergency accommodation, and 90,000 people on the housing waiting list. 

“Others are living rough on our streets sleeping in doorways, in parks, in tents and out in the open.

“This is a scandal which the government and Minister Kelly clearly find acceptable – they either do nothing or else introduce policy measures that exacerbate the situation.  

“What we need is action to ensure housing for all who need it and an immediate increase in rent supplement and the Housing Assistance Payment.

“We also need legislation to protect tenants in the Private Rental Sector so they have greater rent certainty and increased security of tenure.

“We have a national emergency on our hands which can only be solved by direct and urgent intervention from government. 

“This is a humanitarian crisis for which successive governments are responsible.

“By their failure to ensure the ongoing renewal of the state’s public housing stock they have has pushed ordinary people into the jaws of a ruthless rental market whose sole objective is profit.”

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