Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD raised the government’s Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness with An Taoiseach during leaders today.
Speaking afterward the Louth TD said that the plan “falls short of what is needed to address some of the most urgent aspects of the housing and homelessness crisis facing the people of Louth.”
Teachta Adams said:
“On Tuesday the Department of Environment released the latest homelessness figures, which show that last month, 6,358 people were living in emergency accommodation – a shocking 2,206 of whom were children. According to the Department’s figures 79 households in the north-east region, of whom 72 are in Louth, are homeless and living in emergency accommodation. This includes six families with 9 children.
“These figures do not include those living in overcrowded housing, or those sleeping on floors, or on people’s sofas, or those on waiting lists to get into emergency accommodation. There are around 100,000 households on waiting lists across the state.
“The government’s Housing Action Plan is not ambitious enough and as a consequence not enough social houses will be built. Gone is the dedicated court to tackle mortgage distress – a significant row back on the commitments in the Programme for Government, and there are no proposals to tackle spiralling rents.
“And crucially it commits a mere €150 million of extra capital spending for social housing in 2017. This will deliver, at best, an extra 833 social houses next year. This is insignificant when set against the 5000 citizens on the waiting list in Louth alone.
“The plan promises to meet the needs of 131,000 families over six years, yet 94,000 of these will remain in the private rental sector subsidised by the state through HAP, RAS and leasing.
“The Dáil’s Housing and Homelessness Committee’s number one priority recommendation was to increase the housing stock by 10,000 units, per year, every year. The Government are 40% short, despite its own TDs signing up to it.”