Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady today called out the government on what he calls its failure on youth homelessness. His comments came on the first anniversary of the launch of the Youth Homelessness Strategy, which occurred one year ago today, on 9 November 2022. One year later and youth homelessness figures have risen by 20%, with 1,510 young people between 18 and 24 now homeless.
Brady said: “While today marks the first anniversary of the publication of what is a three-year government plan to address the issue of youth homelessness, and with nearly one third of the lifespan of the plan having passed, youth homelessness figures have risen by 20%.”
It is estimated that there are now 1,510 homeless young people between the ages of 18 and 24 in the state.
Mr. Brady continued “This figure sits alongside an increase in child homelessness during the lifetime of this government of an incredible 47%.
“These figures do not take into account the hidden homelessness of those forced to couch-surf or seek shelter with friends and family. The truth of the matter is that the real figures are much higher.”
“More than 2 and 3 adults between 24 and 30 are still living at home. A figure which has doubled in the last decade. The reality is that the governments housing strategy is a failure. And that unless action is taken immediately to properly resource the strategy to enable the implementation of key actions, the youth homelessness strategy will also be doomed to failure.”
“Sadly, the evidence of the failure of the government is clearly visible on our streets, the length and breadth of the State, many in areas where we would not see homeless people. More and more young people are being locked out of home ownership, unable to afford eye watering rents, with more people exiting services, ending up on the streets presenting as homeless. There is real of evidence of failure here.”
“A survey by the National Youth Council of Ireland clearly shows that the majority of young people have no confidence in a future in the state for them, with 7 out 10 actively considering emigration as the only alternative to the stale, deprived, and socially starved prospects that this government has left for them in Ireland.”
“We are one year into a three-year strategy, and I have to genuinely question whether the government youth homelessness strategy is worth the paper that it is written on. There are twenty-seven recommended actions in the strategy. And we have seen minimal progress to date. The key is implementation. And it is not happening.”
“I am calling on the government to ensure that the required resources are put in place to ensure that the necessary actions can be taken to put in place measures to address youth homelessness.”