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1500 homeless children will be government legacy on housing – Ellis

17 December, 2015 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has condemned the government’s failure to address the homeless crisis saying the fact 1500 children will be homeless this Christmas is unforgivable. He made his comments on foot of the release of a report by the Simon Community detailing the numbers of people currently without a home.

Deputy Ellis said;

“This government have had 5 years to deal with the shortage of housing and they have made it worse. They have had 5 years to deal with homelessness and they have turned a serious problem into a national emergency. The policies of this government have directly led to people losing their homes and have led to more and more families becoming homeless each month. Their failure to address the problem head on and deliver homes instead of attacking the most vulnerable has resulted in the unforgivable situation we find ourselves in. No children should be homeless, much less 1500 children and their families over the Christmas period.

“The government have steadfastly refused to invest significantly in social housing, cutting funding for local authority construction by 80%, sitting on their hands while rents soared and cutting the young person’s dole, rent supplement and other essential social welfare provisions.

“In the lifetime of this government, fewer homes have been built by councils than in any single year of any of the previous five governments. They have produced only spin and strategies with no real solution other than to rely on a private market which has shown it is unable and unwilling to house those most in need.

“Sinn Féin have argued for 5 years for investment in housing and regulation of the rental market. We produced costed, thought-out proposals the government has chosen to ignore. The government instead chose to allow thousands of people and their families to become homeless rather than invest in housing. Recent claims of  boost in investment have not even restored cuts implemented by the government in previous budgets and most of this money is being used to subsidise the private market rather than building or acquiring real long term housing for those that need it.

“The legacy of this government on housing will be abject failure, apathy and the 1500 children who will have no home this Christmas.” 

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