Fianna Fáil TD for Offaly Barry Cowen has expressed alarm following a rise in the number of people becoming homeless in Offaly. Deputy Cowen says the new Government needs to move fast to implement measures to keep families in their homes and to increase the availability of housing.
Deputy Cowen said, “New figures released to me by Offaly County Council show that the housing crisis has spread far beyond areas such as Dublin City. As of Friday 6th May there was a total of 17 adults and 11 children here in Offaly who are living in emergency homeless accommodation. These people are only a step away from living on the streets and need urgent support from Government.
“Fianna Fáil has secured key commitments from the Government on housing as part of the confidence and supply agreement in the new Dáil. The Government has agreed to significantly increase and expedite the delivery of social housing units, remove barriers to private housing supply and initiate an affordable housing scheme. We’ve also forced the Government to increase the rent supplement and Housing Assistance payments to help keep families in their homes.
“The appointment of a new Minister for Housing is a welcome development and something which Fianna Fáil has long called for. However Minister Simon Coveney must move quickly to implement measures to alleviate the housing crisis. He needs to take on board the suggestions and policy proposals being put forward by the opposition through the Oireachtas Committee on Housing.
“Fianna Fáil will be holding the Government to account regarding its commitments on housing. We can’t have a repeat of the last five years where the Government simply refused to come to terms with the extent of the housing crisis. The Government needs to increase the supply of social housing and initiate an affordable housing scheme to help keep people in their homes,” said Deputy Cowen.