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Homelessness at humanitarian crisis levels – Sandra McLellan TD

29 September, 2015

Sandra McLellan TD has emphasised the critical nature of our current homeless and housing crisis and the necessity of taking immediate measures to ensure that people and families have access to housing and shelter as the winter months approach.

Speaking in the Dáil today at the Sinn Féin Private Member’s Motion on housing, Deputy McLellan said:

“The basis of this motion is once again to highlight the need for social housing and how the crisis is just becoming worse as time goes on. There are now 5,000 people estimated to be living in emergency accommodation in the state today.

“The Simon Community state that the number of families’ now sleeping rough has also doubled. I’d like to take the opportunity to reiterate what the Simon Community have said -this is a humanitarian crisis and the figures continue to rise.

“There are currently 130,000 on waiting lists. It all appears to be a bureaucratic mess, with tenants and landlords who are availing of this scheme having to jump through countless hoops.

“Now, coming into the winter months, with the nights getting colder, the risk to health comes to the forefront once again. A warm and safe place to sleep at night is not a certainty for many people. Homeless services and charities are at capacity as it is and are already under a considerable amount of pressure to cope with the crisis at present. The workers within these services are at breaking point and this burden should be addressed and relieved as soon as possible.

“The access to housing is an issue that, if not addressed immediately, will only lead to more tragic stories like the ones that we’ve heard in the media, and are already too common. Measures need to be taken immediately if this crisis is to be tackled in any sort of a sustainable manner.  

“I hope this motion can garner the support of all TDs with the aim of helping those who are most vulnerable and at risk.”

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