Harrowing human stories represent the Government’s abject failure to address homelessness in Dublin – Dessie Ellis TD

Dessie Ellis TD has stated that harrowing human stories provide the sharpest representation of how the government has failed to address the worsening crisis of homelessness in the capital city.The TD for Dublin North-West said that emergency accommodation in Dublin is at capacity every night and temporary assistance from the Civil Defence has been sought this month.

Deputy Ellis said:

“We now have a situation in which sixteen families a week are being made homeless in Dublin. The stories of human hardship coming out of this crisis provide the sharpest representation of how the government has failed to adequately address homelessness in this city.

“One such story is that of a family who were designated as homeless four months ago. Due to the lack of any other option, they spent three months in Bewleys Hotel by Dublin Airport and the last two weeks in the Metro Hotel.

“They have two daughters aged two years and six months.

“They were told at 11.45am this morning that they had to leave at 12pm. The family contacted the homeless section of Dublin City Council who then started a search for new accommodation.

“However, at 3.30pm the family were told that the police would be called and they would be asked to remove them. The homeless section also said that the family would have to leave but that they would continue their efforts on behalf of the family.”

Deputy Ellis continued by saying that the family’s hardship is the direct result of a government that is unwilling to acknowledge the scale of the housing crisis.

He said:

“This government has failed to acknowledge the seriousness of the crisis and subsequently they have failed to direct sufficient resources and funding into combatting homelessness.

“Services are struggling to keep up with the demand for emergency places and follow-on placements including independent-living housing.

“It is a national scandal.”

Ellis urges swift action on homelessness

Sinn Féin’s Housing spokesperson has called on the Fine Gael and Labour government to take swift action on a number of small issues contributing to rising homelessness.

Deputy Ellis said;

“Every statistic released over the last 12 months has shown a dramatic rise in people experiencing homelessness. Now Threshold say their services have seen a 77% increase. Swift focused action is needed.

“The government don’t want to row back on cuts but to stop this growth some compromise is needed.

“Restoration of social welfare payments to young people who are coming out of care or homelessness is essential. The cap on rent allowance must be raised and the minimum contribution reduced.

“In cases where landlords are ceasing with Rent Supplement or RAS contracts the Local Authority must step in.

“A code of conduct is needed for banks dealing with distressed buy to let mortgages.

“The government have increased homelessness through their austerity agenda and they must face up to that.

“In the long term we need a major step up of public housing provision through new builds and renovation.”