News & Events
The homeless charity, Peter McVerry Trust, has called on Enda Kenny to convene an urgent, high-level forum on the homeless emergency. The charity made its call as the latest homeless figures show that the number of people accessing emergency shelters in February stood at 5,811, up from 3,908 for the same month last year.
Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said “We need to realise now that the solution to the homeless emergency must involve multiple government departments whose policies influence the homeless situation. It makes little sense for the Department of the Environment to hold stand alone forums when finance, social protection, health, justice, children and youth affairs, and public expenditure all have a role to play.”
“We have seen a 49% annual increase in homeless figures since last February, the numbers of young people, couples, families and children are all on the increase. The number of people aged 18-24 in homelessness has increased by 32%. We cannot simply allow the numbers to increase unchallenged month by month.”
“The Taoiseach needs to convene a high level forum immediately in order to get all the relevant departments working together to tackle homelessness. An instruction should be issued for each department to develop a set of actions that they can take in order to help tackle the homeless crisis. These actions could then be considered and debated at the high-level forum ensuring the debate is action focused and that we can secure genuine results following the meeting.”
“Peter McVerry Trust would also like to see genuine commitment from politicians across the spectrum to introduce sweeping reforms across the broken housing system. The danger we now face is that politicians in their rush to be seen to act, simply respond by introducing measures to make building houses more profitable. Instead, we need to see action on land management, planning and building standards, reform of the rental market, action on mortgage arrears and support for approved housing bodies.”