01 Jul 2022

Cowen: Government are failing an entire generation with homeless crisis

Offaly TD Barry Cowen has said that the government are failing an entire generation as 7,421 men, women and children are living in emergency accommodation.

He said that the 3.5% monthly increase in those in emergency accommodation is "not acceptable."

Cowen, who is Fianna Fáil's Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, said that Minister Simon Coveney’s Action Plan for Housing is continuing to fail the needs of people who are desperate for housing.

Deputy Cowen was commenting following the publication of the latest emergency housing statistics from the Government which show that despite repeated promises and commitments, the number of people in emergency accommodation increased between January and February of this year. 

SEE ALSO: Offaly three-year-old's heartbreaking response to living in emergency accommodation

“An additional 115 adults and 139 children spent February living in emergency accommodation demonstrating that Minister Coveney’s much vaunted Action Plan is failing its most basic test: stemming the flow of people requiring emergency accommodation," Cowen said.

"The simple fact of the matter is that unless Minister Coveney can deliver three basic commitments then he will fail in his role as Minister for Housing:

1. Increase the number of social housing units being constructed and completed

2. Speed up and streamline the regulatory processes to allow developers construct additional private housing to match demand

3. Source additional private rental accommodation to allow local authorities provide increased emergency accommodation that is not hotel based.

“I have my doubts about whether there is a will to deliver on these three requirements," Cowen commented.

"The housing crisis is well documented, yet for over three years now, we have seen a stop-start approach to increasing housing capacity, across all sectors, by Fine Gael in government."

“Future generations will not thank Minister Coveney if he, and his Government, fails to arrest the increase in people, and in particular children, who are being forced to sleep in emergency accommodation rather than in their own home. It’s time the Minister delivered, and stops making excuses,” concluded Cowen.

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