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Minister Coveney one year in Office, Homelessness Up 20% - Ó Broin

25 April, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused the Minister for Housing Simon Coveney of “failing homeless families”. Deputy Ó Broin said that “despite being in office for a year homelessness has increased 20% under Minister Coveney’s watch”.

The comments were made following the Department of Housing’s March homelessness figures which show yet another rise in individual, family, and child homelessness. The latest figures show that 7,472 people, including 2,563 children, are now living in emergency accommodation. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The homelessness figures for March show that problem is continuing to grow and that Minister Coveney is failing homeless families. He has been in office for 12 months and during that time adult, family and child homelessness has increased 20%.

“One year ago, in March 2016, there were 5,963 people in emergency accommodation. Figures for March 2017 record a 25% jump in the number of people living in emergency accommodation.

“In February 2017, there were 4,875 adults in emergency accommodation; a month later, there are 4,909 adults living in emergency accommodation. 

“Child homelessness continues to rise; there are now 2, 563 children sleeping in emergency accommodation. This is 20% increase in child homelessness on the same period in 2016; an additional 442 children are sleeping in emergency from April 2016. 

“Minister Coveney’s polices have not stemmed the tide of people into homelessness. Every month since he became Minister for Housing, the homeless levels have increased. It is past time for the Minister to review his failing homelessness strategy. 

“Minister Coveney must make a statement in the Dáil next week as to why homeless levels are continuing to rise. He must also clearly explain how his Department plans to meet the commitment that no families would be living in hotels and B&Bs by July this year.”

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