Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Minister Darragh O’Brien to take urgent action as the number of those experiencing homelessness returns to record levels.
His comments were made in response to the publication of the April Department of Housing official homeless report, which show that 10,049 adults and children slept in emergency accommodation.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The figures in April’s Department of Housing’s homeless report show that we have unfortunately returned to record levels of homelessness.
“The report states that there were 7,105 adults and 2,944 children in emergency accommodation funded by the Department of Housing last month.
“This government is to blame for this. It, like the government before it, while failing to provide an adequate level of new real social housing, has also failed to address the shrinking private rental sector. As a result, more and more families are experiencing homelessness.
“We know that more and more landlords are selling up and the issuing of notices to quit from landlords are responsible for more than half of all evictions. The squeeze in the rental market in turn makes it harder for them for source new accommodation
“We need to see immediate action from the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. The solutions have been provided to him by NGOs and opposition parties.
“The Minister must allow councils to buy rental properties where HAP or RAS tenants have an eviction notice, to prevent the family becoming homeless.
“The Focus Ireland Amendment must be adopted to ensure that where a buy-to-let landlord is selling their property, they must leave the tenant in situ.
“The government must also take action to progress the Simon Communities (Homeless Prevention) Bill, which was passed by the Dáil late last year.
“Ultimately, however, the only way to really tackle the crisis is to increase the number of new, real social homes, owned by local authorities and approved housing bodies.
“I don’t know what the Minister is waiting for. He and his government must take action now.”