Monday 20 November 2017

'I did not try to bury bad news on homeless figures' - Murphy

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy denied trying to bury bad news by releasing homeless figures on the eve of the August bank holiday.

There is a sharp focus on the new minister's housing brief after a series of reports highlighted the problem is getting worse despite Government promises.

Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry said the Government was "ideologically incapable" of addressing the crisis.

The Department of Housing was criticised for releasing its own statistics for June on Friday, August 4 - as much of the country was winding down for the bank holiday weekend.

The figures showed there were 5,036 homeless adults, up from 4,922 in May. The number of homeless families also rose to 1,365, including an extra 118 children.

In a statement last night, the minister said the Government was "currently dealing with unprecedented levels of homelessness".

"The idea that the Government might try to hide this from the general public, seek to downplay the scale or turn away from it, does not take account of the huge amount of time and resources already being dedicated to this crisis."

Mr Murphy outlined a number of initiatives he had undertaken in recent weeks, noting that €5.3bn had been ring-fenced for housing and homelessness plans up to 2021.

Irish Independent

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