27% increase in homelessness in 12 months – Adams
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the homeless figures for Louth and across the state as "deeply depressing and evidence of the absolute failure of the Government to properly and effectively tackle the homeless crisis. He then called on Minister Coveney to bring forward the launch of his vacant homes strategy.
Gerry Adams said:
“While the homelessness statistics for last month (February) show a slight decline in Louth, across the state there has been another significant increase in those forced into homelessness by the failed politics of the Government.
"The homelessness figures for February show that there are 105 adults homeless in the North East, of whom 104 are in Louth. In the North-East there are 67 men and 38 women homeless. According to the figures produced by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government there are also 10 families, including 5 which are single parents, with 17 children, all homeless in the North East.
"Across the state the number of people in emergency accommodation reached a new record high of 7,421 in February. This is an increase of 254 or 3.5%. The number of children experiencing homelessness has risen from 2,407 to 2,546. This is 35% increase in child homelessness on the same period in 2016.
"The homelessness crisis in Louth and across the state continues to deepen. The reality is that contrary to Minister Coveney’s claims his policies are not stemming the flow of people into homelessness. He made a commitment that no families would be living in hotels and B&Bs by July this year. We are almost into April and the problem grows worse. The promised rapid build homes promoted as a means to house families have not yet materialised and are significantly behind schedule.
"The Minister needs to urgently review his current plan. With his own deadline looming Minister Coveney must bring forward the launch of his vacant homes strategy. This must contain an ambitious, well-funded acquisitions programme. He must also increase funding for Housing First tenancies. We need a minimum of 1,000 new Housing First tenancies this year.”