Dublin Fianna Fáil Representative Cllr Jack Chambers has hit out at Minister Alan Kelly’s ongoing silence about the acute homelessness emergency in Dublin.

His comments come following his revelation that families with young children were forced onto the streets this week as the Council’s credit card had reached its limit and could no longer pay for emergency hotel accommodation.

Cllr Chambers commented, “The fact that a young mother with three children was forced to sleep in an industrial estate this week because the council credit card had ‘maxed out’ is a scandal.  It illustrates vividly just how flimsy our services are, and how vulnerable those who are trying to find accommodation have become.  The public are shocked and outraged, and rightly so.

“Meanwhile however, all we have from the Minister Alan Kelly is silence.  Mr Kelly has invested a lot of time and energy promoting himself as a ‘straight talker’.  Similarly, he has repeatedly talked about how important he holds the issue of homelessness and that he is actually the most effective housing minister in history.  But today we see the quality and value of all that rhetoric.

“We see in stark terms the absolute failure of the homelessness strategy and the hollowness of all the promises and PR.

“We will deal with the political implications of his failure later, but right now we are in the middle of an emergency in Dublin and the straight talking Minister is absolutely silent.  The current system, where homeless families with young children competing with concert goers and tourists for a bed, has outlived any usefulness it might ever have had, and now we learn that even this arrangement collapses with the failure of a single credit card.

“This is wrong.  It is a symptom of absolute failure.  The national politician paid to manage the issue remaining silent is simply not feasible.  Alan Kelly needs to explain himself.”