Labour and Fine Gael responsible for 200% increase of those sleeping rough in Dublin city

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader this morning challenged the Taoiseach to commit to providing the necessary funding to tackle the 200% increase of those sleeping rough in Dublin city and 50% cut to the social housing budgets since Fine Gael and Labour took up office in 2011.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“The homeless crisis in our capital city is getting worse. Walk the streets around Leinster House and you will see countless people, many of them young, sleeping rough.

“Does Enda Kenny ever take a moment to imagine what it must be like to be forced to sleep night after freezing night on the streets? Does he ever ask himself as Taoiseach what can he do to end this crisis?  This week the Homeless Executive confirmed that rough sleeping in the city has increased by a shocking 200% in the last 12 months.

“This morning Focus Ireland reported an 18% increase in demand for their services this year. Many other homeless charities are experiencing similar demands. They have also highlighted that in Dublin the number of families presenting as homeless has doubled from 8 to 16 every month

“Today’s figures tell us a very simple truth. Fine Gael and Labour in government are responsible for this crisis. This government’s austerity policies are forcing families out of their homes and onto the streets. Cuts to social housing budgets mean that Councils simply do not have the houses to ensure that no one is forced to sleep rough.

“The question is, when is this government going to step up and take the homeless crisis seriously?

“Fine Gael and Labour have cut €233 million from the social housing budget since taking office. The appropriate response is to urgently release of exchequer funds to ensure that no family is forced to sleep rough or forced to live in emergency accommodation.

“Promising to spend €15 million on 5,000 houses does not change this stark reality. The lack of investment in social housing is the single biggest obstacle to tackling the homeless crisis. Government refusal to invest in social housing is making people homeless.

“Fine Gael and Labour are responsible for the 200% increase in rough sleeping in our capital city.

“Fine Gael and Labour are responsible for the 50% cut to the social housing budgets.

“People forced to sleep rough tonight want to know when this government will house them. Families forced to live in emergency accommodation want to know whether they will have their own home for Christmas.

“Disappointingly Enda Kenny speaking in the Dáil this morning refused to offer any solace to the increasing number of citizens facing into another bitter winter living on the streets.”

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