Labour Party spokesperson on Housing Jan O’Sullivan has said today’s report by Focus Ireland on the impact of homelessness on families and children, highlights the need for urgent action to tackle the crisis.
The Limerick City TD said that while homelessness has a devastating impact on anyone who finds themselves in that situation, this report shines a light on just how traumatic it can be for children.
“From changes in behaviour, boredom and anxiety to the negative impact on a child’s education, some of the accounts of these families are heart breaking.
“It also shows the pressure and stress placed on families while they are living in emergency accommodation and after, when the report says some of the issues come to light.
“With 1,455 families, including 3,124 children, homeless in Ireland today, there are many more families around the country with similar stories to tell,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.
“While it is only part of the actions needed, I was r eally pl eased last week to receive cross party support for our Homeless Families Bill that aims to put children at the heart of our response to homelessness.
“Children’s rights were enshrined in our constitution five years ago and our Housing Acts must reflect that.
“It is also critical that we address the issue of supply; we need more social homes provided through Local Authorities and Voluntary Housing bodies and more private homes that are affordable.
“The land is there, and the State must support the local authorities to ensure the 700 publicly owned sites that have already been identified for mixed tenure development, are used to deliver social and affordable housing.
“We have got to get to grips with this crisis to prevent more children and families becoming homeless,” she concluded.
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