Sinn Féin TD for Meath West, Johnny Guirke, has called for all party support for an SF motion declaring a housing crisis in the country.

He said, “Across Meath, the housing crisis is having a real impact on people’s lives. Rents in Meath are sky high and homelessness is far too common. It is clear that there is a housing emergency in Meath. Despite this, the government is failing to treat the crisis with the urgency it deserves and in the meantime, people in Meath are forced to pay the price.

“Figures for December 2016 saw 67 people homeless in Meath and 18 people in Westmeath, this has risen to 197 people in Meath and 52 people in Westmeath in the latest figures for 2022. We have 3,345 children sitting in Emergency accommodation across the state, this is more than a crisis and Minister O Brien has a responsibility to declare such.

“This week, Sinn Féin will use our Private Member’s time in the Dáil to bring forward a motion declaring a housing emergency across the state. Minister O’Brien’s shocking comments in a recent media debate, stating that there is no housing emergency, exposed yet again how out of touch this government is.

“Minister O’Brien has been in post for over two years and the housing crisis has only worsened on his watch. Rents are continuing to spiral, house prices continue to soar and there are record levels of homelessness. Homeless figures across the state are at record highs with 10,975 in homeless emergency accommodation.

“This government has shown time and time again that it is incapable of getting to grips with the housing crisis. We know all too well here in Meath how whole generations are locked out of home ownership, paying sky high rents while house prices soar and the dream of home ownership slips further out of reach. Every night in Meath children will go to sleep tonight in emergency accommodation- an appalling situation which must never be normalised.

“Sinn Féin’s motion declares a housing emergency. It is time for the Minister to do his job and accept the reality of the crisis he is overseeing. The motion also urges people to come out and support the upcoming Raise The Roof rally and concert in Dublin on Saturday 26th November at 1pm in Parnell Square, to make your voice heard about how the housing crisis is affecting you.

“Sinn Féin in government would tackle the housing crisis in Meath to ensure that ordinary workers and families get a much-needed break.”