Last month I raised with the Minister the shocking increase in the rate of homelessness and he described the position as disappointing, regrettable and concerning. The words "shocking", "shameful" and "unacceptable" are more appropriate because the latest report on homelessness is a damning indictment of Government housing policy. More than 10,000 people are now homeless and for the first time, single person homelessness has hit 5,000. There are more than 3,000 children homeless and growing up in hotels and bed and breakfasts, robbed of a secure childhood. This is happening when there are nearly 170,000 vacant homes in the State.
The Government should be scandalised by this crisis but it is clearly not. It is the same old story. The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Deputy Darragh O'Brien, has failed and is failing; his position is increasingly untenable. What emergency measures will the Government put in place to urgently address the homelessness crisis?