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Tánaiste gives no comfort to families’ trapped long term in emergency accommodation- Ó Broin

13 July, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Speaking during leaders questions today, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD called on the Tánaiste to outline how her government plans to ensure that family hubs do not become another long term institutional response to the growing numbers of families experiencing homelessness.

The Ministers 'deeply disappointing response' gave no comfort to families trapped long term in emergency accommodation

The Dublin Mid-west TD said:

“The latest monthly homeless figures show that 1,300 families are living in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation, with almost 3,000 children were in hostels, hotels and BnBs

“These figures do not include the hundreds of adults and children living in Túsla funded domestic violence emergency and step down accommodation and they do not include the 247 adults and 152 children trapped in Direct Provision, with leave to remain but who are unable to secure housing.

“70% of homeless families have been in emergency accommodation for more than 6 months, 40% have been in hostels or hotels for more than a year and 200 families have been in emergency accommodation for 18 to 24 months

“Family hubs are being rolled out by the government as it attempts to stop the use of wholly unsuitable hotels and B&Bs for emergency accommodation purposes. Minister Murphy confirmed that one third of homeless families will be accommodated in these hubs.  While it is true that in many cases these purpose built emergency accommodation facilities hubs are better than hotel rooms it is not a home.

“Two important reports launched yesterday by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the other Drs Murphy and Hearne of Maynooth University warned that family hubs run the risk of replacing one problem with another and of placing the residents at risk of long term institutionalisation – of ‘therapeutic incarceration’.

“The reports call for independent inspections of emergency accommodation to be undertaken,
a three month legal limit to the length of time a family would stay in emergency accommodation, clear rehousing targets to give these families the homes then so desperately need and a legal sunset clause that all HUBs be closed by 2019

“Sinn Fein supports the recommendations made by these reports. Today during leader’s questions I called on the Tánaiste to do the same. While Minister Fitzgerald acknowledged that she has read the reports and that her government does not want these hubs to become a permanent solution, she stopped short of giving her support to any practical solutions what will avoid this.

"The Ministers deeply disappointing response today will provide no comfort to families trapped long term in emergency accommodation.”

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