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Housing Crisis gets worse under a year of Varadkar & Murphy

14 June 2018

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour Party Housing spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said that the Government have made little movement when it comes to housing in the year since Leo Varadkar was elected Taoiseach.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Last June, members of the Opposition were willing to give the Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, a blank slate when it came to solving the housing crisis. A year on, nothing much has improved for those impacted by the housing crisis. 

“Homeless families are still in hotels, despite Minister Murphy and his predecessor, an Tánaiste, Simon Coveney, promising that families would be out of hotels by last July. Sadly, families are still in hotels and the number of children who are homeless is increasing month on month. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing have had a year to move forward the Labour Party Bill to ensure the best interests of homeless children are recognised by Local Authorities in an emergency situation, but we have yet to see the Government make any movement on this important legislation, despite accepting it over eight months ago.

“The increase in the number of children who are homeless is probably the biggest scandal that this Government is presiding over. These children are in truly precarious situations, along with their families in many cases with nowhere to play, far from their friends and school and filled with an anxiety about the future that no child should have to endure.

“The Rent Pressure Zones clearly are not working. Most people who are being made homeless end up that way because their rents have been hiked or they have been put out of their private rented accommodation.

“Despite persistent calls from the Opposition, the Taoiseach and his Government fail to see the merits of linking rent increases to the cost of living. Linking rent to inflation would make a real difference to renters and would help to keep people in their homes.

“They say a week is a long time in politics, well a year can seem like a lifetime and we have yet to see any workable proposals for affordable housing for those who want to rent and buy. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing do not have the courage to take us forward to solve the housing crisis.”