Today’s Irish Times summed up my leaders question – The key to solving the homeless issue is persistent action, because otherwise Jonathan Corrie’s tragic death will be just last week’s story. I asked the Government to examine my Homeless Prevention Bill which Minister Howlin gave a most positive response to, and I would be confident that he will bring my legislation before the Dáil sooner rather than later:
“Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said a multi-pronged approach was needed to deal with homelessness.
She said Prof Diarmaid Ferriter had observed that 40 years ago Alice Leahy produced a report about homelessness in Dublin. Her report led to a taskforce which highlighted major gaps in the then approach to the problem.
She said the problem was again highlighted in 2006, and promises were made to end homelessness by 2010, but it did not happen.
“The key is persistent action, because otherwise Jonathan Corrie’s tragic death will be just last week’s story and will not go any further . . . and we will see further tragedies.’’
She urged the Government to examine legislation she had worked on with Focus Ireland, which had identified a gap in the legislative framework. The legislation would ensure that local authorities would have the legal framework necessary to help individuals or families facing impending homelessness.
Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said the problem was a priority for the Government. The centrepiece of his budget statement was the twin issues of ending homelessness and providing social housing. Ending homelessness by 2016 is also an “absolute” priority for Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.”