Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has accused the current Government of failing a generation of children when it comes to housing, health, and child poverty.
The Sinn Féin TD was speaking following the launch of Barnardos’ ‘Lost Childhood’ campaign. The campaign is highlighting how one in seven children in the State are currently experiencing homelessness, poverty and neglect.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“The current Government is keen to point to economic growth in the State, but clearly not everyone is experiencing a positive change or any economic benefit in their lives.
“Surely if we are to learn anything from the experience of the so called Celtic Tiger it’s that investment in quality public services needs to be prioritised.
“The reality is that child homelessness has almost doubled in less than 10 years and continues to increase according to the Government’s own figures.
“As a public representative I have had to direct families to present themselves as homeless too many times already this year, and it is only the very beginning of March. The Government’s slow and inept approach clearly is not working for those growing numbers stuck in temporary and unsuitable accommodation.
“The latest increase in child and adult homelessness across the State is a direct consequence of the failure by Government to provide affordable housing options for its citizens.
“In January 2017 there were 4,760 adults in emergency accommodation and 2,407 children. A year later those numbers have jumped to 5,837 adults and 3,267 children. That means 9,104 people are homeless, an increase of 30% in one year.
“This is the direct consequence of Government policy and its failing housing strategy, and the situation is getting worse.
“Action is needed to confront landlords issuing vacant possession notices to quit when selling their property. A greater effort is required to purchase turnkey homes, not for sale on the open market, to get families out of emergency accommodation.
“The Government also needs to adopt far more ambitious Housing First targets. Under Rebuilding Ireland, only 200 additional Housing First tenancies have been created.
“Without a fundamental change in government housing policy, the upward trend of the housing crisis is likely to continue.”