Speaking in the Seanad last Wednesday, Senator Rónán Mullen challenged Minister Eoghan Murphy, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government on the statistics on homelessness issued by his Department.
Senator Mullen said:
“One of the most unhelpful features of the debate on this issue is the continuing discrepancy between official Government statistics on housing and homelessness and the reality as experienced by voluntary groups on the front line. COPE Galway, an excellent organisation working with homeless families, has pointed out serious discrepancies. Official figures issued by the Department late last year indicate that 68 families and 154 children were homeless in the entire west region comprising counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. However, Cope Galway carried out a census during the same period which showed that 86 families and 197 were living in emergency accommodation provided by Cope Galway or other providers.”
He asked the Minister if such a discrepancy was happening elsewhere.
Mullen also challenged the Minister on delays in the development of social housing units in Dublin where voluntary housing bodies are proposing such developments and asked the Minister to take action to ensure such developments could proceed without delay and further to explain the high number of vacant housing units.
Speaking after the debate, Rónán Mullen said:
‘It’s very clear that the housing and homelessness crisis is becoming more critical every day. If there are delays in providing housing units for no good reason and discrepancies in the statistics that we are being provided, that simply has to be dealt with.”
“People in the west of Ireland and indeed those who are today living in emergency accommodation or homeless across the country must be looked after as well and as quickly as possible in these challenging times.”