People Before Profit TD, Richard Boyd Barrett, will be attending a forum on the homelessness and housing crisis today in the Customs House. The cross party event will be convened by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Alan Kelly. According to the Simon Community the housing crisis has worsened substantially since December 2014 with the number of people in emergency accommodation going up by 50% and the number of children increased by 100%. The forum will take place at the Customs House today.
Richard Boyd Barrett said “I, representing People Before Profit, am attending this meeting in good faith. I hope that this forum is a meaningful effort to get a cross party initiative underway to address the chronic issue of homelessness and lack of housing in this country.
“We have seen only today that the numbers of children that are homeless in this state is 1,616 and the number of families is almost at 800, 790 to be exact. In this the year of centenary celebrations of 1916 it is clear that we have not realised the aspirations of the revolutionaries of the Rising. Addressing the issue of homelessness and the housing crisis has to be top priority for the next government.
“I hope that these discussions are meaningful and not just window dressing. I also hope that the government’s proposals will not be just rehashing of their previous policies to stimulate and prop up private developers. We need affirmative action now to deal with this desperate situation- that means declaring a housing emergency, a massive social and affordable house building programme by the state and a cap on rents to name but a few measure that must be taken.