News & Media


Urgent measures needed now to tackle homelessness

7 September 2017

Statement by Senator Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Reacting to the latest figures showing over 8,000 people as homeless, inclusive of nearly 3,000 children, Senator Kevin Humphreys has called for urgent measures to address this including tackling the number of properties lost full time to AirBnB, and immediate measures to bring vacant properties back in use.

Senator Humphreys said:

"With the level of homelessness continuing to rise we need urgent measures to bring more properties back into use.

"It has been estimated than anywhere between 2,500 and 6,000 apartments and houses in Dublin are now marketed as full time, short term lets through platforms like AirBnB.

"It is time that this was tackled through planning enforcement to put them back into use for families.

"It's not acceptable that thousands of possible homes in our capital city are used for tourists over families.

"There are also tens of thousands of vacant properties and we still have no concrete measures or strategy from the Government to address this.

"Dozens of proposals have been put forward to bring these empty houses back into use. As an immediate measure, every County and City Council should appoint vacant homes officers to inspect properties and assess why these vacant properties are being left vacant and to proactively work to have them occupied again.

"As my colleague deputy Jan O'Sullivan has repeatedly said, the Government must introduce a vacant homes tax to drive owners who leave properties empty for long periods to action, and get these homes back into use ASAP."