Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has said today that the homelessness crisis was a direct result of government policy. Speaking as part of a debate on Housing and Homelessness in the Dáil, he said that 68 families faced eviction in Wicklow Circuit Court yesterday and that protecting people from eviction must be a priority for any new government.
Deputy Brady said;
"Today homelessness affects thousands of children and their parents, many of whom are in full-time employment but have been forced on to the streets due to spiralling uncontrolled rents and a catalogue of pitiful policy failures.
100 years on from the Easter Rising of 1916, there are nearly 6,000 people in emergency accommodation, 1,830 of them children.
In my own constituency of Wicklow/East Carlow, 146 families including 240 children presented as homeless in 2015. This is certainly not the republic envisaged by the women and men of 1916.
In the circuit court in Wicklow yesterday 68 families stood facing eviction from their homes by financial institutions that we bailed out to the tune of 64 billion euro and in some cases we actually own.
They feel helpless in the hands of a system that treats them as no more than a statistic. A system which sees them as an inconvenience and an embarrassing reminder of the incompetence of government who put banks, financiers, developers and corporations ahead of the people, the people they are sworn to represent.
The situation these families and thousands more like them across the country find themselves in, is a DIRECT and SHOCKING consequence of government ignorance, government failures and government indifference.
All this has been described as a national emergency and a national crisis and this is true. But let nobody be under any illusion,
It is a shame, a damned shame on this house and on all those who occupied the government benches over the last ten years.
The implementation of the Land and Conveyancing Act 2013 is now facilitating the repossession of the family home, forcing more and more families onto the streets.
The priority of this caretaker government and whatever new one is put in place should be to protect the family home and stop more becoming statistic also."