Seanad debates

Friday, 16 October 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fail)

This morning, I renew my request for this House to debate the issue of homelessness, particularly homelessness in Dublin city. This week, the deputy chief executive of Dublin City Council, Brendan Kenny, issued the latest report from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, which documented that, as of the last count, there are currently more than 6,227 homeless people in Dublin. There are more than 856 families with more than 2,000 children, and close to 3,000 single people are homeless in the city. I commend the Government for the action it took this week in announcing the largest housing budget in the history of the State, and €3.3 billion will go a long way. Some €1 billion will be spent on social housing. More than €200 million will be spent on homelessness. That is to be commended and I support it. In August, I asked that we would debate the issue following the deaths of five homeless people in the city in one week. The latest report shows that despite having added beds, beds are going empty, yet in excess of 100 people are sleeping rough on the streets of the city.

We need to debate the quality of emergency accommodation being provided, the overconcentration in the north inner city, with no family hubs in Fingal or south County Dublin and families from Dublin 15 and beyond having to relocate back out to the county with their children, travelling on buses. We need a proper debate on the issue. It is a human issue that the Government and all of us in this Chamber should be concerned with. I renew my request for that debate to happen sooner than later.

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