Saturday 16 December 2017

Murphy loses vote - hours after mothballing homeless deadline

Eoghan Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke
Eoghan Murphy TD. Photo: Tom Burke

Robin Schiller

The newly appointed Housing Minister has described Ireland's homeless crisis as an "embarrassment" while announcing a further €10m in funding to deal with the issue.

Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy has also admitted that the Government's pledge to adequately house about 650 homeless families by July 1 would not be fulfilled.

It had been hoped to move all homeless families currently living in hotels, B&Bs and other forms of emergency accommodation into adequate housing by the end of next week.

This deadline had been set by Mr Murphy's predecessor, Simon Coveney, and while stating that this was not achievable, he said that progress had been made.

"For me, as an elected representative, this homeless crisis is an embarrassment. The crisis of homeless families is an embarrassment.

"While the delivery of some of the accommodations will stretch beyond the July 1 deadline, it's a considerable achievement to be able to have a clear picture on the pathway out of commercial hotels for all of those families," Mr Murphy added.

But his comments came just hours before he suffered his first Dáil defeat, over building standards.

Leo Varadkar's Government was defeated over a motion from the Green Party which proposed to improve building standards to fix the "appalling construction quality" of homes built during the Celtic Tiger. An amendment from Mr Murphy was defeated by 84 votes to 46.

Irish Independent

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