Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath, Robert Troy, has called on the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, to step up Government support for homeless organisations within the Midlands.
Information released to Deputy Troy by way of a Parliamentary Question has shown that the Midlands accounted for just 0.84 per cent of the national homeless spend in 2016.
“This miserly allocation of funding has seen homeless charities across the region stretched to the brink,” stated Deputy Troy. “With the rising cost of rental accommodation, more and more families are finding themselves in a situation where they simply cannot afford the asking price of properties in our major towns. This coupled with the Minister's refusal to re-examine the income limits on social housing qualification has left so many families in difficulty.
"The major investment in social housing has not happened in the Midlands yet and local authorities simply do not have the housing capacity to deal with demand."
In his response, Minister Murphy stated that the allocation of funding is decided on a programme of scheduled services submitted by each region at the outset of each year.
“I speak regularly with the homeless charities in Longford-Westmeath and they are consistently seeking additional funding to deal with the pressure being placed on services only to be informed that no additional funding is available," Deputy Troy added.
"Homelessness is not just an issue for our major cities, it is a widespread problem across all parts of the country which cannot be dealt with properly until the Government roll out a comprehensive social housing plan which would deliver a vastly increased number of units on an annual basis. Until such time as this happens, the Department of Housing must adequately fund those homeless charities who are operating on the front line to help those in desperate need."