Waterford Sinn Féin calls emergency council meeting to discuss housing crisis escalation

The Sinn Féin group on Waterford City and County Council has written to Mayor John O’Leary requesting an urgent emergency meeting to discuss the impending escalation in families and individuals entering homelessness as a result of the Government’s ending of the eviction ban.

The Sinn Féin councillors have triggered a rule that allows groups of five or more councillors force a special meeting of the Council to discuss urgent matters of concern.

Leader of the Sinn Féin group on Waterford City and County Council Conor D. McGuinness said:

“The Sinn Féin group of councillors believes that Waterford City and County Council should meet urgently to discuss this imminent escalation of the housing and homelessness crisis and to seek immediate action from Government to address its causes.

“My colleagues and I wrote to Mayor John O’Leary this morning to trigger a Section 4 special meeting for this coming Friday to discuss the impending ending of the eviction ban and the impact it will have on an already disastrous housing situation across Waterford City and County.

“Waterford is in the grip of an unprecedented housing crisis due to a decade of inaction by successive Governments. Rents continue to spiral out of control, efforts to increase supply falls far short of what is required, and Government is failing to meet its underwhelming delivery targets for social and affordable houses. House prices continue to put homes out the reach of many workers and families, meaning a generation are reliant on a broken rental market.

“The latest figures from the Residential Tenancies Board and Central Statistics Offices shows rents and house prices continuing to spiral upwards. Combined with the government’s failure to deliver an adequate supply of social and affordable homes, these rises are fuelling record levels of homelessness.

“Again this backdrop Government has decided to end the ban on evictions effective from April 1st. This will undoubtedly lead to sharp increase in families and individuals presenting as homeless.

“Meanwhile across the state the homeless emergency accommodation system is at breaking point with a large number of Local Authorities reporting no extra capacity for new homeless presentations. Waterford City and County Council currently has extremely limited capacity and we have called on the Executive to do all it can to add capacity as we face an increase in homelessness in the coming weeks.


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