WITH latest figures from the Department of Housing showing the number of people has reached a record high of 11,754, an extension of the ban on evictions is vitally important.
That’s according to Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan who said that that 414 people accessed local authority emergency accommodation in the Mid-West region during the final week January.
“254 males and 160 females sought local authority emergency accommodation in the Mid-West that week. Of those seeking emergency accommodation, 349 did so in Limerick.
“Of particular concern is the fact that 62 of them were aged between 18 and 24 years of age. This shows just how much young people are struggling in this housing crisis.
“These figures do not record all adults and children in emergency accommodation funded by the State or those centres not in receipt of any State funding. When all of these people are included, the real figure is closer to 18,000 people.
“This is the third month in a row, during the emergency ban on evictions, that homelessness has risen. Contrary to claims by the government, this does not mean that the ban on evictions is not working. If it wasn’t introduced last November, the number of adults and children in emergency accommodation would be even higher.
“When the eviction ban was introduced the government had space in which to reduce the number of people becoming homeless and they failed to do so. It was an opportunity to help those in emergency accommodation to secure housing.
“The latest figures show how important it is to maintain the eviction ban. If someone is evicted in Limerick, there is little prospect of them securing other rental options. There are too few properties in Limerick to rent and the year-on-year increase in the cost of renting is 18.9 per cent.
“We need an acceleration of the councils’ tenant-in-situ scheme and its expansion to include cost rental. We need the Minister to use emergency planning and procurement powers to target vacant properties and new building technologies to increase and accelerate the delivery of additional social and affordable homes.
“Without this intervention, we will see the number of homeless people in Limerick, and across the State, continue to increase through the spring and summer,” Deputy Quinlivan concluded.