VIDEO: Homelessness could be eradicated by Christmas - Fr Peter McVerry

Ireland’s homelessness issue could be solved by Christmas if the political will existed to do it, Fr. Peter McVerry has suggested.

In a documentary film on the housing crisis, which can be viewed below, Fr. McVerry also claims that a disconnect between rent supplements offered by the Department of Social Protection and current market rent rates are responsible for hundred of families living in hotels.

“In September the Government are going to give €120m back to people who have registered with Irish Water ... ” said Fr.McVerry.

“(€120m) would purchase between five and six hundred houses and we have almost 600 families living in hotel bedrooms. Every one of them could be housed by Christmas, if we had the will to do it,” he added.

In Dublin there are five new people becoming homeless everyday according official statistics.

In July 2015, 77 families became homeless in Ireland. 155 were children and 70 of those families had never experienced homelessness before.

Speaking in the film Paul Sheehan, communications manager of the Simon Community in Cork said the existing rental market was creating a “perfect storm” on housing.

“There are fewer houses to rent on the market than there has been in decades. Rents are spiralling out of control, people can’t get mortgages which is adding to the pressure on the rental market and the supplement that the Department of Social Protection gives people if they need help with their rent does not meet the the current market rents,” he said.


This Christmas remember that there is no such thing as cheap food.Buy local: Use your LOAF

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner