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Ellis marks World Homeless Day with call for government action

10 October, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has called on the government to reflect on the failings of their policies this World Homeless Day and to change direction in the interests of resolving the housing and homelessness crisis. He made his comments today as the international community marks the 5th annual World Homeless Day.

Deputy Ellis said

"World Homeless Day was started in 2010 by housing and homeless activists around the world, to bring a focus on the issues causing homelessness, to promote understanding of the plight of those experiencing homelessness and also to advocate for positive construction change to resolve the issues make homelessness a reality.

“I am calling on the government to take today to reflect on the failings of their government to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis. I want them to really consider the human cost of this continuing problem which has become an epidemic in the Ireland of 2015. The have not done enough, and have actually worsened the problem through deepening austerity. Fine Gael/Labour policy has directly caused people to lose their home. 

“But this doesn't have to be the way. There is time for this government to change tack. Next weeks budget is an excellent opportunity to prioritise measures which can end the homelessness emergency and start to tackle the shortage of affordable housing but it requires decisive and substantial action.

“This week Sinn Féin launched our alternative budget proposals 'Delivering a Fair Recovery' which contained a number of measures that could make a real difference. We have also been calling for a range of other policies which would stop the flow of renters into homelessness and stabilise the rental market.

These include:

•300 million euro in additional funds for the construction of social housing for the 130,000 families on waiting lists and 5000 homeless families in 2016.

•20 million euros in additional funds for homelessness services and an extar 5.45 million euro for women's refuge centres in 2016

•Rent regulation to decrease unfair rents, limit future increases and protect tenants from homelessness

•Use 1.25 billion euro from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund to help raise funds for the construction of at least 7000 social housing units

•Amend Part VIII of the Planning Act to streamline social housing delivery

•Allow Local Authorities to access HFA funding

•Strengthen the protection of the family home in the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2013 

•Increase Part V requirements on developers

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