Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, described as unacceptable the fact that 12% of those leaving state care are homeless and called for their prioritisation when it came to housing.

The statistics were outlined in Empowering People in Care’s (EPIC’s) annual advocacy report.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Young people leaving state care face unique challenges and it is particularly worrying that EPIC’s annual advocacy report outlined that 12% of those leaving the care system face homelessness. That is unacceptable and their particular needs should be prioritised and addressed.

“Many of these young people have already faced huge challenges in their lives and should not be cut adrift and abandoned when leaving state care.

“They are at a particularly vulnerable time in their lives and should be prioritised when it comes to housing.

“I welcome the announcement that 40 units for use by those leaving state care will shortly come on stream and that the Focus Housing Association is in the process of taking over a number of them in places including Dublin, Sligo, the Mid-West and Limerick.

“I also understand that the Peter McVerry Trust is involved in other initiatives throughout the country where it will renovate, adjust and accommodate young people leaving care.

“Clearly this cohort of vulnerable young people need continued supports and their housing is an essential component of that continuum of care.”