Some home truths

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

MORE than 3,000 chil­dren are now in emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion, the lat­est of­fi­cial fig­ures show. This is un­ac­cept­able: no child should be brought up liv­ing in a ho­tel.

How­ever, in tack­ling this moral wrong, we must not be afraid to es­tab­lish why it is hap­pen­ing.

Has ev­ery par­ent in emer­gency ac­com­mo­da­tion done all they could to pre­vent this hap­pen­ing – or did they turn down of­fers of ac­com­mo­da­tion (as we know that some have done) be­cause the house on of­fer was in the ‘wrong’ sub­urb?

Did they ac­cept the Gov­ern­ment’s HAP (Hous­ing As­sis­tance Pay­ment) scheme, which gives home­less fam­i­lies up to al­most €1,500 a month to rent a home of their own?

Or did they refuse this money be­cause it might then move them down the hous­ing list?

In the many cases of sin­gle moth­ers be­ing home­less, are the fa­thers con­cerned do­ing all that they can to put a roof over their chil­dren’s heads?

The so­lu­tion to child home­less­ness is not just build­ing more houses, it is en­sur­ing that fam­i­lies do not be­come home­less in the first place.

And if that in­volves forc­ing some fam­i­lies to do more to help them­selves, so that all re­sources can be tar­geted on those who truly have no al­ter­na­tive, then that is what must be done.

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