Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing Barry Cowen TD has presented new figures which he says expose An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s spin on homelessness in Ireland.
The Taoiseach claimed over the weekend that Ireland has a low rate of homelessness by international standards. However a comparison of the figures for those living in temporary accommodation in Ireland and England in September 2017 sets out the reality of the situation, Cowen said.
The figures show that almost 7 households per 1,000 households in Ireland are living in temporary homeless accommodation. This compares to 3 households per 1,000 in England. Accordingly homelessness per 1,000 households in Ireland is 139% higher as compared to England.
The figures are worse when only families living in bed and breakfast style accommodation are taken into account. 18 households per 10,000 in Ireland live in such accommodation compared to 2 households per 10,000 in England. Accordingly the number of homeless people living in bed and breakfast style accommodation in Ireland is proportionally 7 times higher as compared to England.
Commenting on the figures Deputy Cowen said, “Homelessness is simply not acceptable. The Taoiseach’s effort to normalise it must be rejected."
“These figures show that the situation here is significantly worse than our next door neighbours. We want to build a decent society that every Irish person has a stake in, not the Republic of photo opportunities the Taoiseach seems to be obsessed with," he added.
“These shocking figures should focus attention on the need to address the housing crisis. The Taoiseach should switch his obsession away from spending time and money on spin and should instead focus his energy on dealing with the profound challenges facing Irish society,” concluded Cowen.
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