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Nobody should have to sleep on our streets. No child should have to call a hotel room "home" - Lynn Boylan MEP

10 October, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has called on the government "to drastically improve funding for homelessness services" in Budget 2017.

She added that "in 2016, nobody should have to sleep on our streets. No child should have to call a hotel 'home'."

Speaking on World Homeless Day, Ms Boylan said;

"In June of this year, our capital city saw a record number of homeless people, including 2000 children.

"This is a damning indictment of the approach taken by the previous Fine Gael and Labour Party government.

"This is a crisis situation that has been replicated in every city in Ireland.

"In 2016, one hundred years after the declaration of the republic, nobody should have to sleep on our streets. No child should have to call a hotel room 'home'.

"On the eve of Budget 2017, you only have to walk through Dublin to understand that the current government has both a political and moral obligation to drastically improve funding for homelessness services.

"In our alternative budget, Sinn Féin has called for increasing funding for homeless accommodation by €24 million in 2017, while investing €491 million in the delivery of new homes.

"Sinn Féin is committed to increasing the delivery of real social housing to an average of 10,000 units a year every year until the State has a sufficient supply of social housing to meet current levels of demand.

"We have tabled rent certainty legislation, which was voted down by the government and Fianna Fáil, that would have saved working families, crippled by spiralling rents, up €2000 per year.

"While the powers that be have sat on their hands and actively voted to exacerbate the crisis, the proposals put forward by Sinn Féin represent real action to match the scale of the emergency throughout Dublin and Ireland.

"Budget 2017 presents Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan with yet another opportunity to finally show some real compassion and deliver the funding necessary to help those caught up in the crisis.

"Their repeated response, in order to shrug their responsibility, is that people shouldn't 'play politics' with the housing and homeless crisis.

"Such a mindless refrain is an attempt to disguise the fact that the housing crisis is inherently political - it was born out of the decisions and choices made by governments and it can be ended by better, fairer decisions by governments.

"That is to goal - to end the housing and homelessness crisis.

"Once again, Budget 2017 is about choices. It is about making a choice between giving tax cuts that benefit the better off in society or making real investment in vital services.

"For the 4000 adults and 2300 children, not living, but merely existing, in emergency accommodation, Sinn Féin is calling on the government to make the progressive choices, to set out on the right road, and to embrace the goal of ending this crisis."

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