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Crisis in homelessness highlights the risk to children’s welfare – McLellan

1 December, 2015

Speaking this evening in the Dáil, Sinn Féin TD and Children’s Spokesperson Sandra McLellan has highlighted the risks that homelessness presents to children’s welfare. Deputy McLellan warned that rents in Cork had risen by 13.5% in the past year and that this was exerting huge pressure on families.

The Cork East TD said:

“We must take a step back, have a look around, and realise the exact nature of the situations that people find themselves in. In my own county of Cork, rents have increased by 13.5% in just over one year.

“Six years of recession has seen the income of many families fall sharply due to job losses, pay cuts and/or reduced working hours.  The cost of living has shot up and there are more additional taxes to pay such as property tax, USC and pending water charges.

“Thousands more families are struggling on very low incomes or social welfare and many are falling into serious housing difficulties as rents continue to rise.

“Some families are becoming homeless as Rent Supplement payments fail to cover the rent.  They fall into arrears and end up losing their home. These aren’t my words; I’m quoting directly from Focus Ireland.

“We also must highlight the issue of children protection and how the 1,500 children in this country are potentially subjected to danger as a result of lack regulations that exist. It puts these children in potential harmful positions.

“We must protect our most vulnerable to the best of our ability and I would sincerely hope for cross party support in this regard.” 

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