All parties need to work together on solving homelessness – Bailey

-   Maria Bailey TD

The homeless crisis can only be solved by all political parties, interested groups and stakeholders working together, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey, said the homeless and housing issue can only be resolved with constructive ideas and sound policies which the Government are implementing.

Ms Bailey was speaking after figures produced by Fianna Fáil’s Barry Cowen comparing Irish and English homeless figures, were proven to be wholly inaccurate.

“In Fine Gael, we are very aware that there is a very serious issue to be addressed and we are doing everything possible to fix it. There is no room for excuses here and our priority in Fine Gael is taking care of families and anyone who does not have a home to call their own.

“Every party in the Dáil and the various groups and charities have to work together on this. What is the point in publishing statistics that don’t stand up and playing politics with the crisis? Mr Cowen should focus on the issue and offer sound advice as he has previously done,”Deputy Bailey said.

She said the Government has and is responding to end homelessness and the housing shortfall.

“In September in Dublin, more families left emergency accommodation than entered it. This is the second month in a row that this occurred. These are the facts but there are still many families who find themselves homeless.

“Next year, every working day of the week we will support 100 new homes for homeless people and those on housing lists. We will almost double the number of new social housing homes built by the State next year.

“By contrast, when I was a Councillor on Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council , I saw first-hand the private sector delivering social homes that the State should have provided in tandem with the private developers.”

Deputy Bailey said that while houses cannot be built overnight, there has been a firm response to the homeless crisis, led by her party colleagues Ministers Eoghan Murphy and Damien English, including bringing 7,900 social houses into use next year. They will consist of:

– 3,800 Local Authority Build

– 600 Private Sector Build Social Housing Build under Part 5

– 600 Voids returned to use

– 900 Acquisitions of existing homes

– 2,000 Long term leases

“To do this the Government has allocated 䚹.8 billion in Budget 2018. The opposition want the public to believe that no new social houses will be brought into use next year simply because Minister Murphy announced his ambition after a housing summit in September.

“We will also provide 17,000 Social Housing Solutions through the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). In total that will help over 25,000 households find new social homes in 2018.

“Fine Gael’s policies are working and will solve the homelessness crisis. We need everyone to get on board and work together in the best interests of people and families who need a home.”Deputy Bailey said.

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