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. ”

Government giving up on drive to end homelessness – Ellis

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Dessie Ellis TD has today said that new figures on homelessness and rough sleeping from the Simon Community give lie to the government’s claims they are committed to ending homelessness by 2016. He made his comments as The Simon Community; a leading charity dealing with homelessness, released figures that show rough sleeping has gone up by 88% in just one year.

Deputy Ellis continued;

“This is another in a spate of recent figures released by housing organisations, which show levels of homelessness at a record high and growing. The last figures released on rough sleep showed just less than half the level of growth these figures show which highlights the alarming rate at which things are getting worse.

The government may have made much of their commitment to the very realisable goal of ending homelessness by 2016 but all of their policies indicate they are not serious about dealing with the problem at all. Homelessness is not going to be solved by organisations like Simon, great as they are. It will be solved a by dedicated government policy which provides necessary services and support as well as the most essential ingredient secure, adequate housing.

This government have slashed the housing budget and cut homelessness services and they intend to do so again in the upcoming budget. To end homelessness we need real investment which would not only tackle this terrible stain on our society but also create jobs and in the long run save money. The cost of homelessness is much greater than the cost of ending it.”