Local Sinn Féin Deputy, Sorca Clarke, has urged all political colleagues to support legislation to prevent homelessness.
The Simon Communities Homeless Prevention Bill 2021 was moved by Sinn Féin during Private Member’s Business in Dáil Éireann in recent days.
The Simon Bill proposes an amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act that will provide for an intervention by the relevant local authority to help prevent families from entering homeless services.
“I am urging all TDs to back the Simon Communities Homeless Prevention Bill and support this important measure to protect people from homelessness.
“This Bill provides for the automatic extension of notice periods for residential tenancies where a tenant is certified as being at risk of homelessness and allows a local authority to engage for a three-month period with a person or family who is at risk of homelessness.
“This is an important intervention as unfortunately recent homeless figures saw a rise to 89 homeless adults in the Midlands. In my own constituency there are 33 adults in Westmeath experiencing homelessness. Behind these figures are real lives which are turned upside down by the devastating impact of homelessness, including the 10 families with 17 child dependents who are in emergency accommodation across the midlands.
“Homelessness is far too common. Taking action to keep families in their homes and prevent them from entering homelessness in the first place is a vital step to protecting people and preventing homelessness.
“Too often, the government pays lip service to the issue of preventing homelessness but fails to follow through with the necessary action to make a real difference. We need to do all we can to help those at risk of homeless to stay in their homes. I am urging the government to support this Bill and work together with us on this,” Teachta Clarke said.
Sinn Féin to conduct online scams survey
Meanwhile Deputy Clarke has invited people to take part in the party’s all-Ireland survey on fraud to share their experiences of online scams.
The survey, available at this link, asks members of the public about their experiences of fraud, in order to inform policy proposals to better support victims.
“The increase in elaborate fraud and scams over the past year is deeply worrying. There is serious evidence online fraud is rising during the pandemic, having already been on an upward trend. The number of fraud offences reported has increased nationally by 40 percent in the last year.
“Consumers must be protected when they shop online, to ensure that they do not fall victim to what are often very sophisticated scams. A number of people, particularly those that are older and vulnerable, have been targeted by scammers and have been robbed of thousands of euros.
“Our survey will help to focus attention on this vital area and I urge those affected in Longford Westmeath to participate. Take the survey and make your voice heard about what needs to change,
“This survey can help establish what is needed to help tackle fraud and keep our communities safe,” Teachta Clarke concluded.
The survey can be completed at this link, or by contacting your local Sinn Féin office for a hard copy
Link to survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5KQ3DP5.