Saturday 18 November 2017

Coveney facing 'out of control' housing crisis

Fr Peter McVerry
Fr Peter McVerry
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Newly appointed minister for housing Simon Coveney is facing a housing and homelessness crisis that is "out of control" according to social justice campaigner Fr Peter McVerry.

Mr Coveney succeeds former minister for the environment Alan Kelly in the new role that had been called on for some time.

Fr McVerry was speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning where he criticised the previous government saying it did not have an appreciation of the crisis the country is facing.

"He (Minister Coveney) has to face up to a homeless and housing crisis, which is out of control. You have five new people becoming homeless in the Dublin area alone every day.

"If the figures from January and February are to be continued and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be, we have over 100 families a month becoming homeless.

"I think Simon Coveney has the greatest problem of all the ministers in this new Government," he said.

Fr McVerry was speaking ahead of the publication of a new report, devised by the Workers' Party, that recommends the State should link the amount you pay in rent to the amount you earn.

The new proposal would look for the State to rent half the homes of any new development to those that currently qualify for social housing and the rest for those that are not eligible.

"I’m very interested in this proposal, it ought to be debated and it ought to be discussed because I think there are some very very good ideas in it.

"The first is that housing is not a commodity to be bought and sold, housing is a right for people to have as a home," he said.

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