44.2% increase in Louth homelessness as crisis continues to spiral out of control - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has hit out at the government over the cost of housing people in B&Bs, saying that the government needs to provide social and affordable housing if they want to solve the housing emergency continues to spiral out of control.
The figures contained in the Department of Housing’s Homelessness Financial Report for 2017 revealed that €1,360,968 was spent housing people in B&Bs in County Louth, as well as a payment of over half a million euro to Dundalk Simon Community’s Gateway House and Community House and over €145,000 to Drogheda Homeless Aid.
Deputy Munster said:
“New figures from the Department of Housing show that in February 2018 there were 150 people homeless in Co. Louth. This is an increase of 44.2% from the same time last year, which is an absolutely shocking increase.
“I have contacted the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy and called on him to do his job as Minister and build social and affordable housing in order to remedy this crisis.
“It is absurd that in the region of €1.4million was spent on emergency accommodation in Louth last year. The government is happy to spend a huge amount of money keeping people in temporary accommodation, rather than providing them with secure, long-term housing.
“Behind these figures are real people, and real families who have been let down badly by the State.
“Meanwhile, we have 53 acres of council-owned land banks lying idle.
“The government has said that money is not a problem in addressing the housing emergency, yet it won’t allocate funding to the council to build homes on these land banks.
“Fine Gael has been in government for seven years now, and the housing crisis is still raging.
“Minister Murphy needs to take action and release funding to the council in order to commence a building programme in the county.