C: Aontú

9,000 people Homeless While there are 90,000 Empty Houses’

Meath West deputy Peadar Tóibín has described the situation where “9,000 are homeless while there are 90,000 empty houses” as a “crime”. 

Responding to the Department of Housing Homeless Figures, the Aontú Leader said that Ireland now has a “permanent standing homeless population”.

“Homeless people are dying on the streets. That this is the case while there are 90,000 empty houses is a crime,” he said.

“As of December 2021, there were nearly 9,000 Irish men, women and children homeless on our streets in Winter. That is an 8.7% increase on the previous year’s figures, according to the Department of Housing. Yet the issue of our people who have no home receives negligible media attention and scant political outrage,” he said.

“When I raised the issue of homeless deaths with the Minister last year, he dismissed them out of hand, stating he doubted their veracity. We forced an investigation into this and we forced the government to start to record the number of deaths of homeless people outside Dublin.  Indeed, there seems to be this almost acceptance of a tolerable level of homelessness in our society. That in so long as those forced to sleep in doorways don’t exceed a certain limit, life continues on,” the meath West TD claimed.

“Throughout Covid-19, there have been thousands left on our streets – ignored. Meanwhile, the severity of the housing crisis continues unabated, if not worsening in many respects as houses prices and rents continue to rise and supply is severely restricted,” he said.

“The government has the resources to tackle the crisis, and is only lacking the political will. Of the €6 billion allocated to Housing in Budget 2022, less than 4% of that budget was allocated to tackle homelessness. This is without referencing the social housing waiting lists across the county, which also make it longer and harder to get off the streets. Sadly, it seems no matter who the Minister is, the crisis only continues – if not worsens – at the risk of becoming a permanent crisis.”

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