Coveney must tackle crisis - Homelessness

FOR the second time in as many days, a charity at the coalface of homelessness in Ireland warns the number of people using its services has reached an all-time high.

Hot on the heels of a similar warning from the Peter McVerry Trust, the latest alert by Focus Ireland removes lingering doubts about the increasing scale of the looming crisis in a country that refuses to take a €13bn windfall that could wipe out the homeless problem at the stroke of a pen while leaving billions in the kitty to tackle other crying needs.

The explosion of homelessness should not surprise Housing Minister Simon Coveney who admits the Government should have done much more during the past five years when Fine Gael, the party he wants to lead, was in power. With autumn and winter fast approaching and given his reputation as a highly energetic and ambitious minister, those at the coalface will watch the progress a committed politician who is now staking his reputation fixing the housing crisis.

Unless he gets a grip on the issue soon, there is danger Ireland and Mr Coveney will be swamped by a tsunami of homelessness if the threat hanging of tens of thousands of people struggling to pay mortgage arrears comes becomes reality. So bad is the situation that the charity founded by Sr Stan says it cannot keep pace with the “deepening crisis”. Ominously, last year saw a 10% rise as it helped 12,500 people.

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