Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the publication of the Department of Housing’s official homeless figures for January 2022.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said that Minister Darragh O’Brien’s policies are directly responsible for the increase in the number of people experiencing homelessness.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The Department of Housing’s official homeless figures for January indicate that there are now 9,150 people – 6,587 adults and 2,563 children – accessing emergency accommodation funded by the Department across the state.
“The number of single people experiencing homelessness is at 4,788 – up 66 on December – while the number of homeless families is 1,119 – an increase of 42 on the previous month.
“This is an increase of 236 people, including 121 adults and 112 children, compared to December 2021, which saw the figures drop slightly as expected due to Christmas.
“Unfortunately, again, as previous years, the figures have started climbing.
“The policies of the Minister for Housing have directly contributed to this rise. The lifting of the ban on evictions, the failure to introduce a ban on rent increases, the lack of real social housing delivery and the ban on councils buying properties with HAP and RAS tenants in them have all played a part.
“Minister Darragh O’Brien is burying his head in the sand in terms of addressing the sheer volume of families who are receiving notices to quit due to their landlord selling up.
“My constituency office is dealing with desperate families and single people on a daily basis as rents continue to skyrocket and affordable supply dwindles.
“We are in a housing emergency and the government must seriously reconsider its opposition to the Focus Ireland amendment.
“This amendment limits the ability of landlords to evict families into homelessness when selling their properties.
“The Simon Communities Homeless Prevention Bill must also be implemented.
“Councils much be allowed to buy up homes with HAP and RAS tenants where they receive eviction notices.
“Crucially we need to see a more ambitious programme of real social housing deliver to meet the growing need.
“I will be raising this matter with the Minister directly next week in the Dáil and calling on him to outline what he going todo differently in the time ahead to reduce the number of singles and families falling into homelessness.
“He also must outline how he will to ensure those that are in emergency accommodation are moved into secure tenancies as quickly as possible.”