Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has described the May 2018 homeless figures published last week for Louth as shameful and he accused the Housing Minister Eoin Murphy of “failing to effectively tackle this housing scandal.”
Compared with May 2017 the figures show – despite the Minister’s efforts to re-categorise the numbers of people defined as homeless – that the number of families and children in Louth emergency accommodation has continued to rise.
Gerry Adams said:
“One year ago in May 2017 there were 18 families with 44 children on the homeless figures for the North East, almost all of them in Louth.
12 months later and despite the claims of progress by Minister Murphy, May 2018 saw 25 families homeless in Louth with a total of 55 children.
In addition, in May 2017 there were 7,699 people homeless of whom 2,777 were children. One year later and these figures have jumped to 9,846 homeless of whom 3,826 are children.
Of particular concern is the increase in the number of homeless children which at almost four thousand in a scandal. The number of homeless pensioners is up 38% in one year with the state unable to house 128 pensioners.
At the same time these statistics do not include the hidden homeless. The adults and children in Tusla funded domestic violence shelters, those in direct provision centres or those sleeping on sofa’s with family and friends.
All of this must be set against the Ministers decision to remove almost 300 people from the figures. But even this scam cannot hide the reality that there is a homeless emergency that is not going to get better without urgent action.
There are solutions to this housing crisis. Sinn Féin and others have presented credible alternatives to the current debacle, including the purchase of turnkey homes, and far more ambitious Housing First targets, Unfortunately, for the adults and children existing in emergency accommodation this government is choosing not to listen.”