Mayor of South Dublin County Council and Sinn Féin Councillor for Templeogue-Terenure, Fintan Warfield, has welcomed an invitation from the Department of the Environment to discuss the homeless crisis.

Mayor Warfield said;

“The purpose of Thursdays special meeting and forum is to see what collective actions can be taken by Government, housing authorities and the voluntary sector.

“As Mayor, I pledged to use this office to highlight homelessness. To put a human face on the suffering of thousands of families who do not have a home of their own.

“An additional €900,000 will be provided as part of the 2015 Council Budget bringing the net cost of the homeless allocation to €1.5 million in South Dublin.

“On countless occasions, we have called on Government to give Local Authorities a real, meaningful opportunity to meet peoples housing need. Councils and voluntary housing associations are best placed to tackle this crisis.

“Nationally, rent controls must be put in place to curb a further spiraling of rents.

“Rent supplement must be able to meet peoples need.

“While emergency accommodation is much needed, particularly in South Dublin where 100 families are homeless on the streets of Tallaght alone, Government funding must be made available to fund the development of social housing units, ready to build in South Dublin.

“At the core of this issue is Fine Gael and Labour’s reluctance to address the housing crisis.

“Their new plan fails to provide any response to the growing tide of homelessness. It is silent on the crucial issue of rent supplement caps and rent controls despite the fact that spiraling private sector rents are pushing families into homelessness every single day.

“No family should have to sleep night after night in a hotel. No young person should have to sleep rough on a December’s night.

“My thoughts today are with Jonathan Corrie’s family and his loved ones at this very sad time and in the aftermath of this meeting, I hope actions will speak louder than words.”