Wicklow Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady has said that the homeless crisis is in Wicklow is escalating out of control and the same focus needs to be given to Wicklow as Dublin has got prior to Christmas following the terrible death of Jonathan Corrie. This year to date there has been an 18% increase in homelessness in Wicklow, compared to the overall figure for 2014.
Cllr Brady said “The homeless crisis in Wicklow is escalating to a level never seen before and immediate action needs to be taken by the Minister with responsibility Alan Kelly. Since the start of 2015 we have seen an 18% increase in the number of homeless households so far this year in comparison to all of 2014. To date 107 families have presented as homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, this is made up of 152 adults and 204 children. Separately 74 adults have presented as homeless in Wicklow.”
The Sinn Féin Councillor went on to say “There is no let-up in the number of individuals and families presenting as homeless. Difficulties with rent supplement, rising rent costs and rising house repossessions are driving the homeless crisis. The council is aware that there are another 66 families who have been given their notice to quit by their landlords. Unfortunately this is no surprise to me. Every day I am getting more and more calls from desperate people, particularly parents of young families who have been forced into emergency accommodation or trying to get emergency accommodation and see no way out. They are often people who are working or had been working recently or people on Rent Supplement who are barred from work. They have lost their rented home because rent levels have simply become too high to pay and still be able to feed and clothe their children.”
“The ongoing lack of investment in social housing means that the long term housing solutions are simply not available. The Government also need to deal with the rents crisis through rent controls and the mortgage crisis through substantive changes to the insolvency legislation.”
“We have heard a lot of tough talk from housing Minister Alan Kelly. What people need now, especially those families languishing on the homeless list, is action. I’m calling on the Minister to step up to the mark here in Wicklow, meet with all stakeholders and tackle this escalating problem” concluded Councillor Brady.