Playing down of homelessness crisis is an insult to decency

November 13, 2017

The playing down of our homelessness crisis by the Taoiseach and the chair of the Housing Agency is an insult to every adult and child living in emergency accommodation today, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD has said.

Deputy Murphy said:

“Recent remarks by the Taoiseach and the chair of the Housing Agency seek to play down and even normalise the crisis of homelessness in our midst. In a fair and compassionate society, there is no such a thing as an acceptable level of homelessness.

“To downplay the scale of the homelessness problem in Ireland is an insult to the 8,374 people including 3,124 children who have no permanent home today. Child and adult homelessness is at the highest level ever recorded in the State.  In the past year, homelessness has increased by 25 per cent, and child homelessness has risen by 29 per cent, according to the government’s own figures. How, by any measure of human decency, can we say that we accept this as a society?

“As many experts have pointed out in recent days, it is highly problematic to compare our levels of homelessness with other countries given the differences in how homelessness is defined across OECD states. The monthly figures from the Department of Housing do not capture the scale of hidden homelessness in our society, with people sleeping on relatives’ sofas and floors.”

ENDS

13 November 2017