The Fine Gael Minister responsible for housing, Eoghan Murphy, is playing with figures again. He wants to protect his PR image rather than get on with the job of building houses.
He pretends that the numbers who are homeless is ‘just under’ 10,000. But this does not include those registered as rough sleepers or women who are in refuges because of domestic abuse. Nor does it include many of the hidden homeless who are sleeping on sofas in overcrowded conditions.
There were 71,858 households waiting for social housing and 43,000 that are getting Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) who are excluded from the housing list.
€423 million will be spent on HAP this year. This is money going straight into the hands of private landlords.
By pure co-incidence, one in three Fine Gael – and Fianna Fail TDs – are registered landlords.
Which explains why they refuse to build enough social housing as it would lead to a reduction in the subsidy for private landlords.
We need to join the housing protest on March 9th in Dublin and March 11th in Cork.