May 2, 2022
Government policy to blame for rising homelessness, not migrants​ – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien of trying to deflect from Government policy failures by blaming migrants for rising homeless numbers.
Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Minister O’Brien’s recent comments on the latest rise in homelessness are a desperate attempt to deflect from his Government’s failing housing policy. 

“There is no published data that supports the Minister’s claim that migrants are a significant driver of rising levels of homelessness. If the Minister has such data he should publish it.

“The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive does publish a regular report which provides a breakdown of new family presentations by Irish, EU/EEA and non EU. 

“However this data does not differentiate between families resident in the state when they become homeless and those who present as homeless on arrival into the state.

“What the Dublin Regional Homeless Report does show is that homelessness has been steadily increasing since the Minister for Housing ended the Covid19 ban on evictions last April.

“The published data also confirms that notices to quit from the private rental sector are the main driver of single person and family homelessness. 

“Family breakdown, relationship breakup and domestic violence are also key drivers.

“The reports also show that the shrinking private rental sector coupled with a low output of social housing has led to a collapse in exits from homeless in the last year. 

“There were 105 family exist from homelessness in the first quarter of this year, 55% fewer than the 236 family exits in the first quarter of 2021.

“In the last 12 months homelessness has increased 21% in Dublin. Family homelessness have increased by 32%.

“There are now 6,995 people including 2,109 children in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation in Dublin.

“Government policy is to blame for the dramatic increase in homelessness, not migrants. 

“The Ministers attempt to deflect from his failures by claiming that migrants are one of the main drivers of homelessness is both disingenuous and reckless.

“Instead of blaming migrants, Darragh O’Brien must accept his own policy failings and introduce an emergency response to the growing homelessness crisis if the current upward trend is to be halted and reversed.

“He must allow Councils to purchase private rental properties where HAP or RAS tenants have notices to quit and are at risk of homelessness.

“He should reverse his opposition to the Focus Ireland Amendment and implement the Simon Communities Homeless Prevention Bill, passed by the Dáil last December.

“Crucially he must increase and accelerate the delivery of much needed social housing.

“Failure to take these and other emergency measures will result in homeless numbers rising and breaching the 10,000 mark.”

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