20/09/2016

Latest Rough Sleepers Number Shows Govt Failing To Deal With Crisis - SF

The latest figures on rough sleepers show that the government is not doing enough to deal with the escalating crisis, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin, has said.

The latest figures published by the Simon Community reveal that 168 people, the highest number ever recorded, slept rough last night in Dublin. The charity's annual report also showed that there is a 32% increase in those recorded as sleeping rough over the past year.

Deputy Ó Broin said: "Minister Coveney has repeatedly said that money is not an obstacle in tackling the homelessness crisis. Yes the latest figures from the Simon Community show a sharp rise in rough sleeping in the capital. All four Dublin Councils are under huge pressure to provide emergency accommodation on a night to night basis. We know that many people are being turned away from the Councils due to under provision of emergency accommodation.

"The Government says it supports the housing-first approach as the primary response to homelessness. If this were the case in practice, rough sleeper numbers wouldn't be rising. There are 42,930 vacant properties across Dublin County, yet to date Government has done nothing to bring this stock into use.

"The decision to end the Ministerial Order, under which 50% of social housing allocated to homeless and other at risk households, has also had a negative impact. This decision must be reviewed.

"With family homelessness and rough sleeping continually on the rise, it is clear that the new Minister has not yet got a grip of then situation. Greater urgency is required from Minister Coveney if we are to see the situation improve for those with the greatest housing need."

(MH/LM)

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