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Homelessness must concern us all - Murphy

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy today issued a statement on homelessness in Ireland.

The Minister highlighted a number of measures, including a strategy on Vacant Homes, that are due to be announced in coming weeks to combat the issue in the short term, until longer term measures can kick in. 

The Minister said: 

We are currently dealing with unprecedented levels of homelessness.

That is why a number of weeks ago I announced a further investment of €10m (on top of €100m for 2017) for more family facilities/hubs which will be able to accommodate an additional 200 families. The Dublin Region Homeless Executive is currently working on several different projects, in both new and existing facilities, that will deliver over 150 additional emergency spaces shortly. These are just some measures currently underway. Since I became Minister in June I have been working with our local authorities to find new emergency solutions that will work, and work quickly, to help people in this very difficult situation.

Last year in excess of 3,000 households left homelessness into sustainable tenancies. And in the first quarter of this year more than 900 families were accommodated. I want to once again thank all the people who are so dedicated in their efforts to help us help these families and individuals.

Minister Murphy detailed funding that has been identified for housing and homelessness plans: 

An unprecedented €5.3 billion euro has been ring-fenced for our housing and homelessness plans out to 2021. Those plans are currently being reviewed in light of the experiences of the past year and more details of this will be announced shortly for debate and agreement in the Oireachtas.

Homelessness is something which must concern us all as we chart a path for the future of our country. But the financial crisis of 2008-2010 cast a long shadow on our society. That shadow is with us still and it is darkest where we see young families and young men and women without proper homes, despite all the evidence of prosperity elsewhere. People know this and they demand that we do more. We demand that of ourselves as a government. This is very much the intention of the Taoiseach when he speaks of securing opportunities for everyone in this new Republic.

Read the Minister's full statement here.