Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has called on the government to extend the ban on evictions until the end of the year.
The call comes as Department of Housing figures for January show homelessness reached a new record of 11,754 people including 3,431 children.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The latest Department of Housing figures are truly depressing. Homelessness has reached a new high of 11,754 people. This is 122 more people than December and a 28.5% increase on last January.
“Single person homelessness is up as is family homelessness, although with a small decrease in the number of children in Department of Housing-funded emergency accommodation.
“Of course these figures do not record all adults and children in emergency accommodation funded by the state or not in receipt of any state funding. When all of these people are included the true figure is closer to 18,000 people.
“What is particularly troubling is that this is the third month in a row, during the emergency ban on evictions, that homelessness has risen.
“Contrary to claims by government, this does not mean that the ban on evictions is not working. If it had not been introduced last November the number of adults and children in emergency accommodation would be even higher.
“However, the figures make clear the government’s failure to use the breathing space created by the ban to reduce the number of people becoming homelessness and to increase the existing number of people in emergency accommodation to secure housing.
“Today’s figures highlight the need for the government to extend the ban on evictions until the end of the year. But they must also Introduce emergency measures to ensure that we are not back in the same place in December.
“We need an acceleration of the councils’ tenant-in-situ scheme and its expansion to include cost rental. We need the Minister to use emergency planning and procurement powers to target vacant properties and new building technologies to increase and accelerate the delivery of additional social and affordable homes.
“If the government fails to act homelessness, numbers will continue to increase through the spring and summer.”