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Homelessness jumps in Cavan by over 500% in just 2 years - Senator Reilly

9 February, 2016

A Sinn Féin public meeting “Making Homes a Priority- Tackling the Housing Crisis in Ireland”, held in the Farnham Arms Hotel on Monday 8th February heard that homelessness in county Cavan increased by over 500% in just 2 years. Hosted by Senator Kathryn Reilly and Councillor Eugene Greenan, the meeting was organised given the increasing representations being made in relation to housing and homelessness. 

Addressing the meeting Senator Kathryn Reilly said:

“We face social housing shortages; a crisis of homelessness; rising private property prices; increasing rents; shortages in emergency and specialty accommodation; burdensome mortgages; and a legacy of poor build quality and unsustainable planning. The idea that the market will solve everything, the key pillar on which successive government policies have rested, has been shattered by the boom and subsequent bust. 

“The social housing crisis is getting worse. The number of people on council waiting lists is rising. The length of time families have to wait on these lists is lengthening. The cost to the state of subsidising the private rent of these families is increasing.

“We have heard that there were 1,171 were on the housing waiting list and 78 vacant social houses in Cavan at the end of 2015. Coupled with this, we have seen homelessness increase from 28 in 2013 to 172 in 2015. Homelessness is not an issue reserved for urban centres like Dublin or Cork; it is very real here in Cavan.

“With property and rental costs increasing at an alarming rate in Cavan, and across the county, there is a serious possibility that even more people will become frozen out of the housing market; and as a result of the government's complete lack of social housing builds and massive social housing waiting lists, many more people are at a serious risk of ending up homeless.”

“Delivering housing cannot be slang for more subsidisation of the private market without any real increase in the social housing stock. The fact is that this government has built less social housing in its lifetime than most governments before built in a single year.”

“The housing crisis can and must be tackled, there is no short cut. The answer is obviously simple, we need to start building houses again. We need rent control and we need to ensure quality building standards. We need to stop the profiteering of banks at the cost of mortgage holders.

“All of this is possible, the resources are available, but it requires the political will. Sinn Féin has led out a plan to tackle the issue. Sinn Féin in government will deliver that plan.”

SF Plans for Cavan

“Sinn Feìin believes that the solution to the housing and homeless crisis lies in a return to large scale Local Authority building. All of our citizens have the right to a home. Quality social housing and affordable housing is essential in meeting our responsibility to all citizens.

“Sinn Féin in Government has a strategy to build 100,000 social and affordable houses by 2030 in the long-term and in the short to medium term we would build 36,500 new social and affordable homes. We would do this by investing over €5 billion in housing over the period 2016-2021; that is €2.2 billion more than the government’s commitment.

“The Government last year allocated approximately €12.5 million to Cavan for local authority housing. Under a Sinn Féin government the figure would be closer to €22 million given our larger overall national investment in the delivery of social housing.

“This scale of investment in social and affordable housing will have a positive impact on overall affordability across the state, and in Cavan.”

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