Monday, October 14, 2019

Hundreds hidden from Northern Ireland’s homeless figures

Almost 600 adults and children were allegedly removed from the March homeless figures.

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, of failing to explain or justify why a number of adults and children were removed from the March homeless figures.

Speaking today in the Oireachtas Housing Committee, Deputy Ó Broin said: “Minister Murphy today failed to explain or justify why almost 600 adults and children were removed from the March homeless figures.

“He still insists there has been an ‘erroneous miscategorisation’ of people in the March homeless figures and that more families will be similarly removed from the April figures.

“This is despite local authorities, who collect these figures, contradicting his claims that the reductions were done with the agreement of the Councils.

“Information from councils in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Waterford, Limerick and Kildare presented to today’s Housing Committee flatly contradict the Ministers claims that he did not seek to have homeless families removed from the homeless figures.

“It also contradicts his claim that families were removed with the agreement of the Councils in question.

“Either the Minister for Housing does not understand the difference between a tenancy and a temporary Section 10 funded emergency placement which means he is not competent to hold office, or he does understand this distinction and approved the removal of homeless families from the homeless figures which means he is not fit to hold office.

“In either case, he is seeking to introduce a fundamental change in the definition of homelessness that will see all those in transitional accommodation or long term emergency accommodation excluded from future figures.

“This is neither justified nor appropriate and the Minister must reverse course and return to the homeless figures all those adults and children living in temporary emergency accommodation.

“If he refuses to do this, he will not only have undermined public confidence in the homeless figures but also in his ability to do his job.”

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