by Mannix Flynn
The root cause of the homelessness crisis in Ireland is the broken housing system. Ireland does not have a public housing system to meet the needs of the society.
The biggest mistake was the decision by Labour’s Joan Burton to cut social housing spending by 72% between 2008 and 2012 (€1.38bn to €390m), but Rent Supplement levels, rising rents, easy evictions and reduced welfare rates for under-25s all represent serious policy failures.
It is four years since the Fine Gael government introduced ‘Rebuilding Ireland’, their insincere and uninformed strategy to reduce homelessness. Nearly every single month for that period the number of homeless people has gone up.
Even though there are over 180,000 vacant dwellings – excluding hoilday homes – in Ireland, there are now around 9000 homeless people across Ireland. The number of homeless families has increased 115% in the last five years of economic ascendancy.
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