Morgan labels current Government housing policy a
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD today praised the work of the AIDS Fund Housing Project and called on the Government to provide extra funding to organisations that provide sheltered accommodation for homeless people who are living with HIV. Deputy Morgan went on to call again on Minister Ahern to convene a National Homeless Consultative Committee, as the Government has committed to do, and to organise it on an all-Ireland basis.
The Louth TD said: “Homelessness is the most acute denial of housing rights in our society. Gaining access to housing when you are homeless is hard enough without the added pressure of living with HIV or AIDS. Figures from the AIDS Fund Housing Project showing that they can only provide 25 beds for homeless people living with HIV, while they have a waiting list almost seven times that size, are a searing indictment of this Government’s housing policies. In a time of economic prosperity, this is nothing short of a national disgrace.
“Sinn Féin recognises that people with illness are equal participants in society and are therefore entitled to the same equality in relation to housing. A multiannual, adequate and secure funding package to community and voluntary sector organisations working with homeless people, those at-risk and those living with illness, with an emphasis on funding for prevention programmes and services, is an urgent necessity.
“It is high time Minister Ahern lived up to his own Government’s commitments to convene a National Homeless Consultative Committee. The Minister refuses to give a commitment as to when exactly this will be convened and this is a matter of great urgency.
“This Committee must be established on an all-Ireland basis, which will ensure not only that the community and voluntary sector play an integral role in this new structure, but that formerly homeless, homeless and at-risk people themselves can also participate in a meaningful way.”