LIMERICK-based Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has accused the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien of being “asleep at the wheel” as a host of new eviction notices were issued to tenants in receipt of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) in Castleconnell.
Senator Gavan said: “The Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is asleep at the wheel as homeless numbers surge upwards. This week I have spoken to a number of tenants in just one estate in Castleconnell who have received notices to quit. They are in shock and despair at the prospect of having to find alternative accommodation when there is such a crisis in housing.”
“Sinn Féin have been calling for a number of months for an emergency response. Unfortunately the Minister is not listening.
“Social housing is way behind schedule. The private rental sector is shrinking. In Castleconnell the total number of additional new social houses planned for the coming years is just five.
Senator Gavin continued: “Not a single emergency measure commensurate with the scale of the homeless crisis has been introduced to date.
“We need an emergency ban on evictions into homelessness. We need an acceleration of social housing output. We need the deployment of high quality modular homes to get people out of emergency accommodation.
“We need a dramatic increase in the purchase of properties where HAP or RAS tenants have notices to quit. Purchase plans must also include adaptations for people with disabilities who are currently completely excluded from housing plans.”
He concluded: “If the Minister doesn’t act in the days and weeks ahead, this crisis will continue to get worse.”