MAJORITY OF HOMELESS FAMILIES BEING KEPT IN EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATION FOR MORE THAN 6 MONTHS – BROUGHAN

On Tuesday night, Deputy Broughan voted for the Motion of No Confidence in the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy.  He said that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should be “banished from Government” for at least a generation for presiding over the growing Housing Crisis and allowing 4,000 children to become homeless.  Last week, Deputy Broughan had submitted an oral Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone asking her to report the number of children that have been in emergency homeless accommodation by hubs or hotels and guesthouses for less than 3 to 6, 6 to 9, 9 to 12, 12 to 24 and for 24 months plus, respectively.  This question was transferred to Minister Murphy for reply.

The reply states “Data in the format sought is not routinely collected by my Department.  However, earlier this year, the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) provided me with a report which it had produced in relation to families who experienced homelessness in the Dublin region in 2016 and 2017.  While this report relates to families rather than solely children, it showed that 1,087 families were accessing emergency accommodation in Dublin on 31 December 2017. Of these, 480 (44%) had been in emergency accommodation for 6 months or less, 277 (25%) for 6-12 months, 147 (14%) for 12-18 months, 101 (9%) for 18-24 months and 82 (8%) for more than 24 months”.

Deputy Broughan says “We know the extent of the current housing, rental and homeless crisis but to see the numbers in front of us that 82 families have been left languishing in emergency accommodation for more than 24 months is just heartbreaking.  At the end of December last year, 330 families had been in emergency accommodation for more than one year.  Of course, the Department’s reply doesn’t tell us how many children are included in these 330 families, or in the 82 families who have been over two years waiting for a secure home.  I wonder if during this time the family and children have had to move around different hotels, whether any of them were then moved into hubs, how far they have to travel to schools, childcare, jobs.  The Minister needs to be honest with us about the true extent of homelessness and he, and the Fine Gael Government, need to take responsibility for the fact that they have robbed these children of their childhoods and are continuing to do so.  The #RaiseTheRoof rally at the Dáil at lunchtime on October 3rd is our opportunity to stand together and show the Government how important this issue is to us.”