Belfast Telegraph

Campaigners urge Government to declare a housing crisis over homeless surge

Campaigners are to stage a "pots and pans protest" to highlight a growing homeless problem.

The Irish Housing Network said it plans to march to the Dail on Tuesday demanding the Government declare a housing crisis.

A spokesperson said: "In light of recently released figures from local authorities revealing that 1,975 adults including 556 families sought emergency accommodation in the second quarter of 2015, the Network believes that the Government's refusal to declare a housing and homeless crisis is a reckless and cynical refusal to deal with that crisis."

The campaign group is calling for the re-opening and refurbishment of 950 voids in Dublin city; an end to evictions and a turnover of suitable Nama-owned property to the councils for the provision of social housing.

"Housing Network will demand that the housing and homeless crisis is not swept under the rug but immediately tackled in a concrete move to end homelessness in this country," the spokesperson added.

Recent Government figures show just over 400 families were homeless in Ireland at the start of the year.

That figure had increased by 76% to more than 700 by last month.

There has also been a significant rise in the number of children who are homeless.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is due to chair a meeting of the sub-cabinet committee on social policy which will be looking at the issue of homelessness on Monday.

Charities have described the increase as disturbing.

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