Gerry Adams TD challenges An Taoiseach on homelessness crisis
Speaking at Leader Questions today, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD commended the My Name Is campaign group and he challenged the Taoiseach on the Government’s refusal to tackle the homelessness crisis, particularly on the fact that there are 300 more children in emergency accommodation since Teachta Varadkar entered office.
Teachta Adams highlighted that, in the midst of a housing emergency, the government is purchasing only 600 homes of a total 1800 offered to the House Agency since the start of 2017.
Mr Adams said;
“The Housing Agency was offered 1,800 vacant turn-key homes to purchase in the last year. These offers come from banks, funds and others.
“These homes could be bought and families could move in immediately. Of these 1,800 homes, the government has agreed to buy only 600.
“I accept that maybe not all of these homes are suitable. But it is hard to believe that 1,200 are unsuitable. I don’t believe that the government thinks there is a housing emergency. If you did believe this you would not waste any opportunity to house citizens.
“People are dying on the streets. Children are spending their childhoods in emergency accommodation. And families are losing hope on housing waiting lists.
“Taoiseach, will you explain to the Dáil why you are purchasing only 600 of the 1,800 homes on offer?
“Can also explain why it is taking you so long to purchase and allocate these homes to families?
“And will you tell us what you are going to do to ensure that no citizen is forced to sleep on the streets?”
Speaking following the exchange, Teachta Adams said;
“My assertion that the government doesn’t believe there is a housing crisis is supported by the fact that the Taoiseach couldn’t explain to the Dáil why only 600 of 1,800 homes are being purchased.
“If they did believe this they would not waste any opportunity to house citizens.”