Rise in county homeless numbers details need for winter ban on evictions - Clarke

Local Sinn Féin Deputy, Sorca Clarke, has called on Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to immediately introduce a winter ban on evictions, as new figures show a dramatic rise in the number of people in Westmeath who are homeless.

“The latest Department of Housing homeless report shows a dramatic rise in the number of adults and children in emergency accommodation in August here in [county].

“There were 50 people in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation at the end of last month in Westmeath. The figures are increasing each month.

“Across the state, all categories of homelessness are up, including families and single people. With social housing targets not being met and more single property landlords leaving the market, this is a dire and worsening crisis.

“The news comes in a week when the Minister for Housing failed to get any increase in social housing targets included in Budget 2023 nor funding for any new initiative to prevent homelessness.

“Minister O’Brien must immediately introduce a winter ban on evictions. He should follow the lead of Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland who introduced an emergency winter ban on evictions earlier this month.

“The Minister also needs to accelerate the tenant-in-situ scheme to prevent more families becoming homeless and increase and accelerate the delivery of social homes.

“The housing crisis is devastating the lives of people in Westmeath. People here deserve better and they need to see the government deliver real and meaningful change urgently to end the housing crisis.

“Sinn Féin has set out in our Alternative Budget proposals how we would invest in delivering genuinely affordable homes for people in Westmeath. Sinn Féin in government would prioritise ending the housing crisis,” Teachta Clarke said.


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