Wicklow TD says homeless figures don’t reflect reality

John Brady TD has criticised a recent report on homelessness by the Department of Housing.

He has claimed that the figures presented in the report are not in line with the reality of homelessness in Co.Wicklow.

The report claims that there are currently 248 homeless adults in the Mid-East of Ireland.

The Sinn Fein TD had been talking at a cross party Dáil motion on housing yesterday afternoon.

The motion calls for a housing emergency to be declared, an increase of capital spending to increase the supply of social and affordable housing, make it illegal for landlords, banks and investment funds to evict homeowners in mortgage distress into homelessness and hold a referendum to enshrine the right to housing in the Constitution.

Speaking in support of the motion, Brady said:

“The average price of a home in Wicklow is now €320,000 up 6.6% since last year. The average rental price in Wicklow is €1,335, a rise of 11.9% in the last year, making Wicklow the second highest rental prices in the State.

“There are also 3,810 families lingering on the council housing waiting list, many for up to twelve years and more. Those figures however, don’t really reflect the real housing need. Many can’t even get on the housing list.

“The July figures issued by the Department show there are 20 people in Wicklow homeless. That figure doesn’t include the hundreds sofa-surfing or forced to live in overcrowded conditions with friends or their family. It simply means Wicklow County Council has put 20 people in emergency accommodation.

“The reality is Wicklow isn’t offering emergency accommodation because they haven’t got it. The Council are actually referring homeless women and children to the Women’s refuge; this in turn is creating difficulties and putting the domestic violence service under severe pressure.

“So my message to the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil TDs in Wicklow is to face up to the reality of the epidemic that is the housing crisis in our County and act.”

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