Deputy Jan O'Sullivan says the figures are a disgrace
LIMERICK TD Jan O’Sullivan has described a 23% increase in child homelessness across the region this summer as “a disgrace”.
Ms O’Sullivan, who is the Labour party’s spokesperson on housing, said: “In May of this year there were 141 children homeless in the region but in June that figure rose to 173. Each of the 173 children who are homeless in Limerick is in desperate need of a secure home for themselves and their families.”
She pointed out this comes as the number of opportunities in the private sector and social housing is dwindling.
“Rebuilding Ireland has been an abysmal failure. Yet the Housing Minister claims two less homeless children nationally as a success. Our recent policy document Affordable Housing for All proposes amongst other measures a nationwide rent pressure zone and an assertive targeted policy to bring vacant homes back into use. We have to get serious about repurposing these buildings so we can turn them into liveable homes and part of that involves each council having a dedicated vacant homes officer,” she said.
Reports of up to 8 homeless families sleeping in Garda stations are deeply disturbing. Interests of children need to be put at the centre of how Local Authorities must provide for homeless families, incl the need for safe accommodation. -@JanOSullivanTD https://t.co/ZRWrcnAkcX pic.twitter.com/hB4Z6tqIeR— The Labour Party (@labour) August 9, 2018
“The 2016 CSO figures showed almost 3,000 vacant homes in Limerick, many of which are owned by the council. While the council did bring many empty homes back into use since I put in place the void scheme as Housing Minister in 2013, there are still many empty council properties across the city,” she added.
Ms O’Sullivan called for a series of targeted measures to bring vacant housing back into use as quickly as possible.