THE Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland wishes to express its serious concern about the increasing number of homeless individuals and families, both south and north of the border.
At our recent yearly meeting in Dublin, we heard presentations from people engaged in several different homeless charities.
In the past, Quakers recognised the importance of good-quality social housing and today we believe a home is a fundamental human right.
In this context, homelessness is frequently the manifestation of dysfunctional housing provision and weakness of effective policy and regulation.
We, therefore, call on the authorities in both jurisdictions to take urgent action to address the underlying structural causes of homelessness, including the appropriate provision of social housing, strengthening the rights of tenants in the private rented sector and removing the obstacles to making vacant properties available for occupation.
DANIEL H SINTON
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland