Home­less­ness emer­gency needs whole-of-gov­ern­ment re­sponse

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

THE coun­try’s home­less­ness na­tional emer­gency needs a whole-of-Gov­ern­ment re­sponse, with monthly tar­gets and de­liv­ery re­ports, Fianna Fáil Deputy Pat Casey told the Dáil. ‘We must de­clare that the com­mon good of the peo­ple dic­tates that the Gov­ern­ment must en­sure a min­i­mum stan­dard of hous­ing for all of our peo­ple,’ he said.

Speak­ing dur­ing a de­bate on home­less­ness, he said there are al­most 10,000 home­less hu­man be­ings in Ire­land to­day who need to see de­liv­ery on homes. There are also the un­counted thou­sands known as Ire­land’s hid­den home­less, those who are still liv­ing with par­ents or in over­crowded ac­com­mo­da­tion be­cause the Gov­ern­ment in 2019 can­not en­sure an ad­e­quate sup­ply of homes.

‘Just as fright­en­ing is the fact that hard-work­ing peo­ple, in­clud­ing pub­lic ser­vants such as nurses and gar­daí, and young men and women work­ing in in­dus­try – will never af­ford to own their own home in Fine Gael’s so-called repub­lic of op­por­tu­nity,’ he said. ‘We have been elected to rep­re­sent the com­mon good and to en­sure it is vin­di­cated, and we should not be afraid to call out the truth. We in Fianna Fáil have not played, and will not play, pol­i­tics with home­less­ness and hous­ing. Look­ing for min­is­te­rial heads, look­ing for an ir­re­spon­si­ble and pre­ma­ture gen­eral elec­tion, will not take a sin­gle fam­ily out of home­less­ness. Out­rage pol­i­tics will not build a sin­gle home. The pol­i­tics of con­tin­u­ous protest will not gen­er­ate the prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions that can be put in place to rad­i­cally in­crease the avail­abil­ity of af­ford­able homes for all Ir­ish peo­ple.’

Deputy Casey said homes can only be built on ap­pro­pri­ately zoned lands. Builders in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try build th­ese homes and have a duty of qual­ity of pro­vi­sion. ‘Plan­ners en­sure that homes are ap­pro­pri­ate to the area in which they are be­ing built and they have a duty to gear up to this cri­sis,” he said. “An Bord Pleanála de­cides ap­peals and must do so quickly and with a view to the scale of Ire­land’s home­less­ness cri­sis. Politi­cians who come into the House to com­plain about home­less­ness but then ob­ject to the build­ing of homes need to re­flect on the hypocrisy shown. Ir­ish Wa­ter needs to en­sure that it is not a block to the de­vel­op­ment of hous­ing.’

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