Sinn Féin introduces Homeless Prevention Bill - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD and Children’s spokesperson Denise Mitchell TD have today introduced a Bill that would place a legal obligation on local authorities to provide people at risk of homelessness with an plan and appropriate supports to prevent them from entering homeless services.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The Bill we have introduced today is aimed at homelessness prevention and placed an obligation on local authorities to adopt a proactive approach once someone has been identified as being at risk of homelessness.
“We need to do more to reduce the number of people entering homeless services. Current government policy isn’t working.
"Today when someone gets a notice to quit and are at risk of homelessness there is nothing the local authority can do until they are in fact homeless.
"In the best case scenario they are told they can access the higher homeless HAP rates of payment but still have to source accommodation themselves.
“We need local authorities to be adequately resourced to take a more hands on role and to provide a clear plan and appropriate supports to people deemed at risk of homelessness who have a notice to quit or are at risk of homelessness 60 days before they have to leave their accommodation.
“The Bill specifically empowers local authorities to make an assessment of an individual’s case and provide a plan to them from becoming homeless.
"This plan may be provided 60 days in advance of the person becoming homeless.
“The Department of Housing’s homeless figures for April are due out this week. I hope that the figures show a reduction in homelessness.
"However whatever the figures show in terms of the trend there are a very large number of people, including families with children, becoming at risk of homelessness every day.
“This Bill provides those at risk of homelessness with more practical supports from their local authority. It also pays particular attention to the needs of homeless children, careleavers, victims of domestic abuse and people with a mental illness.
"This includes advice on how to secure accommodation and what their rights are and what the responsibilities of the local authority are.”