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Ministers Zappone and Coveney must make statement today on the scandal of child homelessness - Ó Broin

12 May, 2016 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin, party spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, has called on Ministers Zappone and Coveney to make a joint statement on the growing scandal of child homelessness.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The fact that 6,000 people are now living homeless is reflective of successive government’s abject failure to deal with the housing crisis.

“As a Dublin-based representative it is not a surprise to me that 75% of those living homeless, 4,473 people, are in the capital and that nearly one third of those homeless are children.

“The programme for government does not provide for any additional money for homeless services or for accessible and appropriate emergency accommodation.

“It simply regurgitates former Minister Alan Kelly’s unambitious plan.

“85% of new 'social housing' in 2015 was state subsidised private housing. 15% was Council or Housing Associations, that’s only 1,561 of 10,554 units.

“While there is a continued over reliance on the private sector, through schemes like HAP and RAS, more families will continue to become homeless.

“The State needs a minimum of 200,000 social houses. The incoming government must significantly increase the level of investment in Local Authority social housing through a mixture of revenue funding and off balance sheet Housing Finance.

“This government undoubtedly has a huge challenge ahead of it on the issue of housing and homelessness.

“It is a scandal that tonight almost 2,000 children will sleep in emergency accommodation.

“That this level of child homelessness was created by the same Government who inserted the rights of children into the constitution is beyond belief. I am calling on the Minister for Children Katherine Zappone to urgently meet with Minister for Housing Simon Coveney to discuss how to deal with the crisis of child homelessness.”

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