Belfast Telegraph

Housing minister not up for the job, says Sinn Fein

Eoin O Broin said Sinn Fein was ‘seriously considering’ tabling a no-confidence motion.

The minister for housing is “not up for the job” as homelessness continues to surge, a senior Sinn Fein figure has said.

The party’s housing spokesman Eoin O Broin marked Eoghan Murphy’s first year in office with a mobile billboard highlighting the department’s “failings” and how the housing crisis was “getting worse” under his watch.

The billboard was displayed outside Government buildings in Dublin on Tuesday.

Mr O Broin called for further investment in affordable social housing and said that Mr Murphy’s department had an opportunity to “change their policies”.

“I have no confidence in Eoghan Murphy and the wider public has no confidence in him.

“There’s an urgent need to change approach,” the Dublin Mid-West TD said.

The housing minister faced criticism from other political parties last month after it emerged that almost 600 individuals were removed from the March homeless figures in what was blamed on a miscategorised error.

Mr Murphy previously said that these families were living in social housing or private rental accommodation with state support and had been removed from the homelessness official figures.

As the housing minister marks his first year in office on Thursday, Mr O Broin said that Sinn Fein was “seriously considering” tabling a no-confidence motion.

He will deliver less real social homes this year than last year Eoin O Broin, Sinn Fein

Mr O Broin continued: “The minister is clearly not up for the job.

“Tackle the housing crisis, get people out of emergency accommodation and keep people in their homes and start spending the level of money that’s required to deliver social and affordable housing for the people who need it.

“We have such a significant increase in pensioner homelessness, nobody thought that would be possible.

“That child homelessness continues to rise under the minister is a shocking indictment.

“He will deliver less real social homes this year than last year.

“The public need to know the Government housing plan isn’t working and the homeless crisis is getting worse.”

The Sinn Fein TD also said that Mr Murphy was to publish the vacant homes strategy that was completed by his predecessor, Simon Coveney, who is now Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

“Twelve months on and no review,” Mr O Broin continued.

“The Government is still investing less than what was invested during the boom.

“We want to counter the narrative put out by the Government that things are getting better.

“The broader public need to know that one of the difficulties with the housing crisis is that it affects different families in different ways and often you don’t get the same public anger about the failure of Government policies as you do with other issues.

“We don’t have to have these figures if we took a much more proactive approach.

“What they are doing is not working.”

The Department for Housing, Planning and Local Government has been contacted for comment.

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