Fianna Fáil Press Office
Mary Fitzpatrick
Dublin Central

2 December 2015

Govt needs to act now on the homeless crisis – Fitzpatrick

Fianna Fáil candidate for Dublin Central Mary Fitzpatrick is calling on the Government and in particular Minister Alan Kelly to implement urgent measures to deal with the homeless crisis.

“It’s now a year since the tragic death of Jonathan Corrie while sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin. In response to this tragedy the Government promised to deal with the homeless crisis however instead they have allowed it to escalate.”

Ms Fitzpatrick commented: “The Government needs to stop talking about the problem and urgently do the following:

  • Fast-track refurbishment and re-letting of vacant Local Authority Homes
    · Increase rent supplement for people at risk of losing their private rented tenancy and or facing eviction
    · Direct NAMA to stop the fire sale of lands suitable for housing and to use the lands to develop Social Housing
    · Undertake a significant social house building programme to address chronic lack of supply.

“The lack of a coherent Government policy to deal with the homeless crisis means more families this year will spend Christmas on the streets and in emergency accommodation. Minister for Environment Alan Kelly must immediately take action to tackle the escalating crisis.

“It is unacceptable that more people are likely to end up homeless this Christmas as opposed to last year. There are 800 families and over 1,500 children homeless. Up to 80 families are becoming homeless in Dublin each month. The Government’s failure to increase the Rent Supplement is forcing people out of their homes and into homelessness.”

“There are at least 365 vacant housing units owned by Dublin City which if refurbished could immediately provide homes to those in desperate need.  We learned recently that progress on refurbishing vacant units is slow because the Minister’s Department places a cap on the budget for void refurbishment. As a result of this cap, the Department has actually reduced refurbishment funding in 2015 for Dublin City, when funding should have been ramped up.”

-ENDS-