Today it was revealed that 10,400 people are now in emergency accommodation in the Twenty-Six Counties. Speaking in relation to this record figure, Éirígí’s Brian Leeson said,
“Describing the current situation as a housing crisis does not accurately describe the scale of the challenge facing our society. Nor does it do justice to the hundreds of thousands of people who are being denied access to affordable, secure homes.
The term ‘humanitarian crisis’ more accurately describes the current situation where 10,400 children, women and men are living in hostels, B&B’s, hotels and homeless hubs. This is a staggering figure, equivalent to the entire population of a medium size Irish town like Longford or Ballina.
In addition there are tens of thousands more families stuck in precarious private rental accommodation with no security of tenure. Many of these families live in dread of the phone call or email from their landlord giving them notice to quit. On a near daily basis I am contacted by people who have been given their notice and are now frantically trying to find a new rental property in a market where they are simply not enough homes to go around.
For three years Éirígí For A New Republic has been calling for the creation of a new system of Universal Public Housing that would be open to everyone who is in need of a home, regardless of their income. This is the only measure that can permanently end the housing crisis.
Today I am again calling on Eoghan Murphy to accept that his market-led approach to housing is making the situation worse, not better. A radical shift to a Universal Public Housing system would start to deliver real results within a couple of years. And more importantly it would give people real hope straight away.”