Sinn Fein TD for Wicklow East Carlow John Brady has slammed the Government and minister Simon Coveney for presiding over a continued deepening housing and homeless crises and for attempting to sneakily hide the facts.
Teachta Brady Said:
“While most people were preoccupied with Christmas festivities the government sneakily released the latest homeless report which is grim reading for those battling to put a roof over their heads. Nationally the figures have swollen to almost 7,000, with increases recorded in nearly every region. For us in the Mid - East region the figures confirm the abject of failure of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail to grapple with the crises.”
Teachta Brady went on to point out that the huge increase in Wicklow was buried in the detail of the report:
“The graph on the Department of Housing website shows that by region, the number of homeless in Wicklow jumped by almost 40% between October and November 2016. The report also claims that this problem is due to ‘the recent economic collapse’, yet Fine Gael have been telling us for the last three years that the recovery is well advanced and that Ireland has the fastest growing economy in Europe.”
“Simon Coveney has no problem publicly releasing glossing magazines detailing his housing plans and expecting a pat on the back. But when the truth of his governments failure is exposed in black and white; the details are buried on a website and sneakily released while everybody is focused on the Christmas Holidays. The Wicklow figures are shocking.”
Teachta Brady concluded by saying that there are many challenges facing us in dealing with the homeless crisis in Wicklow. “A big concern is the fact there is no emergency accommodation in place for families, women or children that present as homeless. This is a serious shortcoming and its needs to be addressed. The lack of vital water and sewage infrastructure in the South and West of County Wicklow is having a negative impact on the potential for house building”
“These soaring figures show that Wicklow is on the brink in terms of housing. The lack of water and sewage infrastructure in parts of Wicklow are creating very serious issues when it comes to the planning and building of social housing. The planned Arklow treatment plant needs to be brought into being rapidly and Irish Water need to give priority to improving the water infrastructure in West Wicklow. I am calling on my fellow Wicklow/East Carlow TDs to support me in bringing pressure on the government to ensure that 2017 can be the year Government ends homelessness. It can only be done if they match their words with action and crucially with funds. These homeless figures are a reminder that such actions are still not forthcoming from the current administration.”