Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has said that confirmation that the majority of local authorities across the state have no capacity for emergency accommodation is further evidence that the government must reverse its decision to end the eviction ban.
Deputy Carthy was speaking following engagements made by Sinn Féin representatives, which confirmed that at least 17 local authorities have no emergency accommodation capacity remaining.
Seven local authorities are yet to provide updated figures, suggesting the final figure is likely to be higher.
Speaking at Leinster House this afternoon, Teachta Carthy said:
“Sinn Féin elected representatives – TDs, senators and councillors – have been in contact with local authorities across the state in advance of the government lifting the eviction ban at the end of the month.
“The information we continue to receive is very stark. Right across our cities, towns and rural communities, local authorities are telling us they have no provision whatsoever for emergency accommodation.
“As of today, 17 local authorities say they have no capacity whatsoever to provide emergency accommodation. This includes the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
“There are 3000 eviction notices that will fall due in April, and the stark reality for people who will be made homeless next month is that they will have nowhere to go.
“That is the question that has to be put to the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and Minister for Housing: where will they tell people to go?
“That is also a question government backbenchers and independents must consider when Sinn Féin’s motion to extend the eviction ban is voted on next week.
“The government has yet to answer it because they are completely removed from the lived realities of working families.
“Sinn Féin representatives are dealing with a dramatic increase in constituents coming to us in desperation and seeking assistance to find emergency accommodation.
“This is an incredibly traumatic time for so many working people who never envisaged finding themselves in such a situation, a situation that no other generation in the history of this state were in.
“That is the legacy of Fine Gael in government, now propped up by Fianna Fáil and the Green Party.
“Since 2011, Fine Gael has refused to provide the necessary levels of social and affordable housing. They outsourced their responsibilities and that has led us to the catastrophe we find ourselves in today.
“Leo Varadkar, Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan lead the first Irish government to make a conscious decision to increase the number of families made homeless.
“They must see sense and extend the ban on evictions, and put in place an ambitious series of emergency measures in the months ahead to reduce the number of people becoming homeless and to increase and accelerate the supply of social and affordable homes.”