Housing Minister accused of manipulating homelessness figures

The Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has been accused of manipulating the homelessness figures.

Sinn Féin's Housing Spokesperson, Eoin Ó Broin, claimed Mr Murphy did not want the figures to exceed 10,000 as it would reflect badly on him and has called on the minister to apologise and amend the record.

Mr Ó Broin's statements came after reports Mr Murphy instructed local authorities to leave certain people off the homeless list.

He says it's because councils were wrongly categorizing people who were in secure accommodation as homeless.

The latest figures from March show that 9,681 people are homeless.

Meanwhile, a new study has found that the State owns or controls enough land to build 114,000 houses.

The data, gathered by architect and housing policy expert Mel Reynolds, shows that half of these could be used for social housing which would relocate almost all of the 40,000 families currently on waiting lists in Dublin alone.

However, speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O'Rourke programme, Minister of State at the Department of Housing Damien English disputed these figures and said the department is on target to deliver 31,000 units on State-owned land.

- Digital Desk

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