Latest: Housing Minister confronted by protestors who 'don't believe he can cope with homeless crisis'

Update - 9.53am: The Government will announce immediate changes to their housing strategy later, according to the Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Mr Murphy is meeting with the CEOs of local authorities in Dublin to discuss how to end the housing crisis.

On the way in to the meeting the Minister was challenged by a number of campaigners about the Government's lack of action.

He said: "There is not a problem with funding. This year we are going to build four times as many social houses as we built in 2015 and we have more money to re-prioritise that into social housing as well.

"The local authorities have to work with housing bodies to actually build new houses and that's what we want to do.

"I'm working on this every day, it is the top priority for the Governent and you really need to understand.

"The reason the local authority CEOs are coming in today is because I've phoned them directly and they are directly responsible to me for building social housing and dealing with this crisis, that's what we're talking about today."

A number of protesters had earlier chained themselves to the gates outside the Custom House.

Anthony Flynn, CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless, does not believe Mr Murphy is the man to end the crisis.

He said: "At the moment I don't believe the Minister is able to cope with his brief, I think he has been put into a position where he has been given a brief, you know he has only been a Minister for a short period of time, he has come over from Dublin City Council.

"It's a big, big Cabinet brief to have and I think somebody with a hell of a lot more experience would have been worth while putting into the brief."

Mr Flynn stressed that Ireland is in the midst of a national emergency.

"We have council land that the council want to build on but they need the proper funding. This falls on Minister Murphy and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to release the funding immediately.

"As winter is fast approaching we cant wait for long term plans, we need immediate solutions. I would echo Councillor Christy Burke's comments on the amount of empty homes around the city that could be revamped into social housing.

"As well as more social housing there also needs to be more affordable housing to prevent the huge number of families entering homelessness down the road."

Earlier: The Government is to reveal its plan to end the homeless crisis today.

Part one will be released at the Emergency Housing Summit in Dublin's Custom House later.

The latest statisitics show there are more than 8,000 homeless people in this country, an increase of 26% over the past year alone.

Sinn Féin Councillor Daithi Doolan says local authorities have been left out of the loop.

He said: "We're going to be outside the Customs House at 9 o'clock with our elected councillors to say that first and foremost the Minister has an obligation to talk to us about any plans.

"We have a crisis and we've got solutions. If the Minister wants to talk solutions, we'll be outside on the Customs House Quays at 9 o'clock."

The Childrens' Minister has warned that more than 200,000 families are "one step away from being homeless".

Addressing the Kennedy Summer School in Wexford last night, Katherine Zappone said the Government needs to focus on housing supply.

However, the Minister said there are other measures that need to be considered too.

She said: "What I am bringing to the table is recommendations of a number of actions in order to ensure that people are secure in their homes, if they are renting.

"We don’t have enough actions to ensure there is security of tenancy."


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