Damien English: Media reports of homelessness crisis 'damaging to Ireland's international reputation'

The junior housing minister has accused the media of exaggerating the scale of the homelessness crisis.

Damien English says homelessness levels are not acceptable, but he repeated the Taoiseach's claim that they are low by international standards.

Earlier, the Government confirmed a vacant house levy is to be considered by the Department of Finance.

Minister English told the Dáil the problem is being addressed, and "a negative narrative" in the media was hurting Ireland's reputation.

"Some of this narrative has seeped into international coverage of our housing system and is damaging to Ireland's international reputation, that our social response to this issue is being portrayed as dysfunctional," he said.

"As Teachta Dála we have a responsibility in this regard and the good work being done in difficult circumstances needs to be recognised."

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