Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien has criticised the government following news that the number of homeless in the State has reached the highest ever level.
The number of homeless people in the State according to the latest official figures show 10,514 people are currently living in emergency accommodation, which is the highest level ever.
Deputy O’Brien said: "This is a shocking indictment of the government, they continue to fail in one of the most basic needs for our people, a safe and secure home. Rebuilding Ireland has failed, what we need to see is this crisis being met by crisis measures and currently it’s not.
“The number of children living in emergency accommodation remains at an unacceptable level. The number of adults recorded as homeless also increased.
The figures today show an increase of 117 people last month compared to statistics from September, an average increase of around two people every day.
Some 3,826 children are now living without a home in Ireland, according to the Department of Housing homeless statistics for September.
“Fianna Fáil would prioritise solving this housing crisis by building public homes on public land and delivering affordable housing for working people.”
“There were 4534 adults homeless in Dublin currently and there are now 154 people living in emergency accommodation who are 65 years of age or older, the figures show,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien has called on the owners of SK Bioteck in Swords to actively engage with over 140 workers who have been laid off at the north Dublin pharmaceutical plant.
Deputy O’Brien has raised the matter with the Taoiseach in the Dáil today and has also written to the company twice calling on the owners to enter talks with workers without-precondition.
Over 140 shift workers at the plant have now been placed on protective notice from today with workers picketing the plant.
Deputy O’Brien said: “I am extremely concerned for the workers who have been laid off this morning, it’s a very big concern for the workers and their families in the run up to Christmas. I am supporting the workers in their calls to sit down with management in a bid to have this decision reversed.
“I firmly believe the company should agree to enter talks without pre-condition with workers to resolve this issue and prevent it from escalating. The current Irish Employment Labour Court Recommendations are not and cannot be legally binding.
SK Biotek bought the plant from Bristol-Meyers Squibb and signed an agreement protecting staff terms and conditions of employment.
“The only way that the current situation can be dealt with is for all parties to sit down and discuss an agreed way forward to resolving this dispute. Discussions must happen without precondition and that is what the staff are seeking,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Darragh O’Brien has stated home ownership is under threat due to the continued rental crisis.
Deputy O’Brien was commenting on the latest Daft.ie report that shows further increases in rent levels. The latest Daft.ie report shows that the average monthly rent in the country in the third quarter of this year hit €1,403 - the 14th consecutive quarter of record rents.
Deputy O’Brien said: “It’s much more expensive to rent than to buy but tenants are struggling to put money away to meet Central Bank rules. The government seems to believe it developing a continental rental model, but its own surveys show renters want to own their own place. Renters want to buy their own place for the certainty and sense of place it gives them.They are being trapped in a rip off rental market.”
A March 2019 Department of Public Expenditure survey of renters showed that most people (86%) wanted to own their own home. Respondents cited affordability as the primary reason they could not purchase a home and continued renting.
“Empowering ordinary workers to own their own home is a primary goal for Fianna Fáil. Achieving this means supporting people to purchase and reducing the cost of homes themselves. The central bank should review the fact they do not take rental payments into account when assessing mortgages. The government must also ramp up the supply of affordable homes for purchase,” concluded Deputy O’Brien.