Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Michael Kitt, says the Government is failing in its promise to eliminate long-term homelessness by 2016.
Deputy Kitt raised the issue of long-term homelessness during a special debate in the Dáil last week and called for urgent action from the Government.
“Earlier this year, the Government said it would seek to eliminate long-term homelessness by the end of 2016. However, the Chief Executive of Simon has informed me that the homeless and rough sleeping crisis is worse than ever.
“Rents are going up, the Government has reduced rent allowance caps and no extra accommodation is being provided by local authorities. In fact, recent figures have revealed that the number of people sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin has increased by 88% in the past year.
“There is not enough urgency being shown by Government and I cannot see any discernible efforts to address long-term homelessness. In fact, COPE Galway say that Galway’s homeless are so for a lot longer than they should be.
“We do not accurately know how many people in Galway and throughout the country are homeless. A comprehensive survey needs to be conducted on the actual number of people that are homeless. People who are squatting, people that stay in internet cafes etc. are not included and the figures are not accurate. Just because you are not sleeping rough, doesn’t mean you are not homeless.
“We need to have a wider discussion on how we tackle homelessness in Ireland. The Government must follow through on its promise and start addressing the issues I have mentioned. This must become a priority and I will continue to press the Government and their TDs in Galway to put dealing with homelessness at the top of the agenda.”