Homelessness is not just a problem, it is policy – Martin Ferris TD
Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris TD outlined the abysmal record of the government in relation to housing and homelessness, stating how government inaction and indifference on this issue has almost become policy.
Speaking at a Sinn Féin private members’ motion on housing this evening, Deputy Ferris said;
“All over my constituency, all over county Kerry, all over this state there are more people without a roof over their heads than ever. In my three constituency offices, in Kilorglin, in Tralee and in Listowel there is an unprecedented amount of people coming to us for help because they have lost their homes or are in fear of losing their homes or are part of the hidden homeless.
“Meanwhile, there are 136 vacant properties in the county. Some of these people might not be suffering as visibly as those on the streets, but the suffering goes on in separated families, the stress of overcrowding, children being aware of their plight and ashamed of it, not doing so well at school, not managing to turn up to school as well turned out as they used to be.
“People refer to a housing crisis and some talk about a housing emergency, but the truth is that if something has been going on for as long as this, then it is no longer a crisis or an emergency, but it is a policy.
“There is cruelty and indifference on those benches and a failure to admit that if a problem persists for year after year after year, it is not just a problem anymore, but a policy. You care about the market, property rights and the rich and powerful. That is your ideology.
“You are doing nothing about the people who are homeless. Nothing tangible has changed in the past year. It is your policy that people suffer on.
“Sinn Féin is tonight introducing a private members’ motion which calls for housing and homelessness to be tackled. We have outlined a series of measures to tackle the crisis. In the interests of all those homeless or in danger of losing their homes, we are hoping that all parties will support it."