Enda Kenny’s legacy is a 300% increase in child homelessness – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has stated that the outgoing Taoiseach’s legacy after six years in office is a 300% increase in child homelessness.
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today, Deputy Ó Broin challenged the Tánaiste on the government’s failure to deal with the family homelessness crisis, saying:
“In 2011, when the Taoiseach assumed office there were 641 homeless children. Last month, 2, 563 children slept in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation. These figures do not include children in Tusla funded domestic violence accommodation, or the children of the hundreds of families trapped in direct provision having got their leave to remain; or the children in emergency accommodation funded by the New Communities Unit.
“The sad fact is that the government has no idea how many children will sleep in emergency accommodation tonight. After guaranteeing the rights of the child in the Constitution, this government has left thousands of children living in emergency accommodation. Many of whom have been staying in unsuitable hostels, B&B’s, and hotels for up to two years.
“The devastating plight of twelve families and 30 children, brought to light by Focus Ireland, who on Tuesday night presented at Garda stations because they had nowhere else go, is a damning indictment of government housing policy.
“To highlight this government’s incapability to deal with the homeless crisis, CSO figures show that there are 183,000 vacant homes across the state, 40,000 of them in Dublin alone. That’s 24 vacant homes for every single homeless person in the state.
“The government must accept that its housing policy is failing. It must urgently release funding to allow Local Authorities to acquire vacant homes to ensure that no child is left in emergency accommodation for more than 6 months.”