30 November 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Homeless families must not be broken apart
West Cork Independent TD Michael Collins wants the government to ensure that families facing or currently homeless are not split up as they try to access suitable emergency accommodation.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Collins, during the debate concerning the Housing (Homeless Families) Bill 2017, said: ‘It is extremely disappointing that we as a country are here today discussing this and debating what kind of emergency accommodation that we will provide for homeless families and whether or not we can accommodate parents and their children together in emergency accommodation, be they shelters or hotel rooms.’
Recent figures show that there are 1,442 families homeless in Ireland at this moment many facing an uncertain Christmas.
‘The government has done little to fix the current housing crisis,’ Deputy Collins continued. It is more than 15 months since the introduction of the programme for partnership government in which the Minister has dedicated a whole section on ‘Ending the Housing Shortage and Homelessness’ – however, the number of new homes built in the State last year was just 2,076, a fraction of your Government’s ambitious 15,000 estimate.’
There are currently over 3000 children living either on our streets or in emergency accommodation,
‘It is paramount that we make provisions to protect their family units and their childhoods as much as possible.’
‘I am pleading with the Minister, to help these homeless families, but more importantly to implement some real significant action to increase the housing supply to permanently rehouse those families in across the country,’ Deputy Collins said.