Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has described the rising number of families with children sleeping rough as another indication of the failure of the Government’s housing strategy. He stated that there are already 1100 children living in Emergency Accommodation and that increasingly more and more children are rough sleeping with their parents

Crowe also said that the phenomena of children sleeping rough is unusual but becoming more common with some sleeping in cars and other unsuitable venues.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“Families, children and individuals experiencing homelessness in Dublin has risen by 55% so far this year and has easily doubled since this time last year. Last month, 70 families who had never experienced homelessness lost their homes and this is an ongoing developing situation.

“The numbers of homelessness are undeniable and going in the wrong direction. The phenomena of children sleeping rough was unusual but is becoming more common, with some sleeping in cars and other completely unsuitable venues.

“The vast majority of parents rely on hostels and hotels which are oversubscribed and unsuitable anyway. Most parents leave their children with grandparents or siblings but this not always an option and an increased number are sleeping rough

“Aside from the obvious child safety issues the welfare of these children are at risk and they are obviously in no state to attend school.

“Parents with little or no other options, and in desperation to keep their family together, are increasingly rough sleeping with their children.

“We are in the middle of a crisis that needs emergency measures or the situation for those seeking accommodation will simply get worse.

“The Government’s utter failure to address housing needs for over 4 years, its failure to address rising rents caused primarily by the shortage of housing, and their cuts to the supports which families rely on in order to afford to keep their homes is exacerbating the crisis.

“The solution is to provide housing, to boost homelessness funding, and to tackle unaffordable rents. The Government refuses to do any of these things and that is why we have this crisis on our hands, and why it’s getting worse by the day.

“Children sleeping rough with their parents are becoming more and more common and are another symptom of this Government’s failure to tackle the housing crisis.”