Cuts by government creating more homelessness – Ellis

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Housing has criticised the government for talking out of both sides of their mouths, claiming to be seeking to end homelessness while implementing cuts which are making the problem much worse.

Deputy Ellis said;

“The last few weeks have seen a number of figures released by leading homelessness charities and organisations which are nothing short of alarming. These figures make clear that homelessness instead of being on the decrease, as you would expect when a government pledge to end the problem in just two and half years time, is actually spirally further out of control.

Record numbers are in need of homelessness services, emergency accommodation and hot meals. Record numbers are rough sleeping on our streets and 7 new people report as homeless every day.
This increase is a direct result of the policies of cuts to essential social services which are supposed to protect vulnerable people from finding themselves out of their home.

Housing has been cut year on year, homelessness services in Dublin is to be cut by 4.5 million and Rent Supplement which houses nearly 100,000 people in precarious financial situations has been cut.
Finding adequate, affordable housing has never been so difficult for people as housing need has soared to 112,000. Current homelessness figures are the tip of the iceberg if we do not change tack now and really invest in providing housing.

The cost of allowing homelessness to grow further is much greater than the cost of ending homelessness altogether. ”

Fine Gael and Labour to force 4.5 million cut in homeless services in Dublin – Ellis

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has blasted the government’s plan to cut €4.5 million from funding for homeless services in Dublin city. The cuts were confirmed by the Head of Finance at Dublin City Council, reporting that the Department of Environment had informed her of this plan for 2014.

Deputy Ellis continued:

“This is a shocking move by the government which has disingenuously committed itself to ending long term homelessness by 2016, a goal made farcical by its own policy decisions.

“Spending on housing and homelessness should be protected in the up-coming budget having been slashed for five consecutive years. This move is the betrayal of a promise made by the government only seven months ago.”

“The news comes in the week that the Peter McVerry Trust reported more people needing hot food and emergency shelter from them and Focus Ireland saying that there are seven new homeless people in the state every day.

“These groups have called for a political solution to the problem of homelessness. They have called for the government to play its part.

“There are 5000 people homeless, growing numbers sleeping rough and many tens of thousands living in housing not suitable for human habitation. This cut of €4.5 million (10.7% cut from 42 million in 2012) will be devastating to those who depend on these services.

“Homeless people are at much greater risk of physical and mental ill-health, as well as being vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse.