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Housing Minister & Department Deliberately Trying to Bury Bad News on Homelessness – Ó Broin

4 August, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and his Department of “deliberately trying to bury bad news on homelessness by releasing the June homeless figures late on the Friday afternoon of a bank holiday.”

The figures show that there were almost 8,000 adults and children in emergency accommodation last month, with the number of homeless adults, children and families all up.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“It is an absolute disgrace that the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and his Department have published the June homeless figure late on the Friday afternoon of a bank holiday weekend. These figures should have been published last week. The Department has had the data for several weeks.

“The Minister and his Department are deliberately trying to bury bad news by releasing the June figures on the afternoon of a bank holiday. Minister Murphy gave an explicit commitment to the Oireachtas Housing Committee that he would not do this and yet here we are once again with figures published at a time chosen to minimise media coverage.

“Worse still are the figures themselves. We now have almost 8,000 adults and children in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation. There are 124 more adults, 53 more families, and 118 more children in homeless accommodation in June than in May.

“Every single month the homeless crisis is getting worse. The reasons are plain for everyone to see. No action is being taken to reduce the flow of people into homelessness. Vacant possession Notices to Quit are driving homeless presentations at the moment and neither Fine Gael nor Fianna Fáil are willing to support the changes to legislation required to stem this flow.

“Meanwhile, the building and buying of the homes for families in acute housing need is just not happening fast enough. There appears to be little urgency is getting vacant homes back into use or building a meaningful supply of social or affordable housing.

“If Minister Murphy wants to distinguish himself from his failed predecessor, he must do two things. Stop trying to bury bad news and demonstrate by actions that he is serious about reducing the number of families who are becoming homeless and increasing the supply of homes for those who are homelessness or at risk of becoming homelessness.” 

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