Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called on the Government to ‘extend the ban on evictions until the end of the year’ as new figures reveal homelessness across Waterford City and County has soared to 74.
“The latest Department of Housing figures published today expose a shocking increase in the number of people who are homeless in Waterford.
“Homelessness has reached a new high of 221 people for the South East region, including 15 families and 35 children. The official homeless figure of 74 for Waterford reflects an 8% increase on last January
“This is a shocking situation and a sign of how devastating the housing crisis is for people across Waterford . Behind every number is people who are forced to feel the horrendous impact of this government’s failure to deliver on housing.
“Indeed, these figures do not record all adults and children in emergency accommodation funded by the state or not in receipt of any state funding. When all of these people are included the true figure will be much higher.
“What these figures don’t show are the numbers of individuals and families living in overcrowded, inadequate or unsafe accommodation or the amount of people couch-surfing while waiting for something to turn up.
“Many more people are faced with notices to quit; the imminent ending of the eviction ban; and the uncertainty and desperation trying to secure alternative accommodation when the rental market is in total disarray.
“Today’s figures highlight the need for the Government to extend the ban on evictions until the end of the year. But they must also Introduce emergency measures to ensure that we are not back in the same place in December.
“We need an acceleration of the Councils tenant-in-situ scheme and its expansion to include cost rental. We need the Minister to use emergency planning and procurement powers to target vacant properties and new building technologies to increase and accelerate the delivery of additional social and affordable homes across Waterford.
“If the Government fails to act, homelessness numbers will continue to increase through the Spring and Summer in Waterford.”