Homeless crisis worsens in Louth - Adams
Louth TD Gerry Adams, has accused Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael of “lining up with the landlords against the people”.
The Louth TD was speaking in response to debate on the Residential Tenancies (Prevention of Family Homelessness) Bill 2018 which has been introduced by party colleague Eoin O’Broin TD.
Gerry Adams said: “This is a government and a Taoiseach without a mandate - a government kept in place by Fianna Fáil.
"In the last election the electorate punished Fine Gael and that party lost the biggest mandate in the history of the state.
"A so called confidence and supply arrangement was cobbled together and endures because of party self-interests.
"Both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaders collaborate in order that their shared ethos continues to control the politics of this state. Between them they smother the potential of this Dáil.
"Of course a General Election is coming whenever the Taoiseach plucks up the courage to call one or whenever he and Micheál trip themselves up as they waltz awkwardly along.
"And of course local and European elections have already commenced. That much is obvious in the Taoiseach’s bombastic attacks on Sinn Féin and others. Even the usually courteous Tánaiste is in negative campaigning mode.
"And all the while their government, supported by Fianna Fáil lines up with the landlords against the people."
Commenting on the February homelessness figures and their impact on Louth Gerry Adams said:
“Despite the Housing Minister’s efforts last year to manipulate and minimise the real homelessness statistics there are now over 10,000 homeless citizens, including 3784 children.
"The housing crisis in my own constituency of Louth reflects this scandal across this state.
"The figures released on Wednesday night for February by the Department of Housing reveal a substantial increase in the number of people officially classed as homeless – over 10,000.
"Louth accounts for 150 of these homeless citizens. This is a significant increase over the December figure of 124.
"In the last eight years there has been a 490 per cent increase in the number of homeless children across this state.
"In December 2016 when the Residential Tenancies Act was going through the Dáil, Focus Ireland asked that an amendment be included to the proposed law that would prevent evictions for tenants in buy-to-lets.
"The amendment was defeated when Fianna Fáil abstained from the vote and Fine Gael voted against it. Focus Ireland estimated that had its amendment been adopted into law in 2016, in the region of 250 fewer families and 500 fewer children would have been made homeless in 2017.
"Since Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael opposed the Focus Ireland amendment family homelessness has increased by forty per cent.
"Homelessness for children has increased by forty-seven per cent. Pensioner homelessness has also witnessed a dramatic increase of eighty per cent.
"Most families are being forced into homelessness because of landlords issuing vacant possession notices to quit.
"The Bill by my colleague Teachta Eoin O’Broin is based upon the Focus Ireland proposal. It would amend the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 to give greater protection to households renting from buy-to-let landlords.
"Under the Bill it would no longer be legal to evict tenants in buy-to-let properties on the grounds that the property is to be sold.
"This Bill would make an important contribution to tackling homelessness."