Aontú Leader and Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín, has been informed through Meath County Council that there are currently no more emergency beds left in County Meath.
Tóibín told Meath Live, “ I have been making enquiries through Meath County Council Housing Department since last year onwards to find out the number of emergency beds in the county given the increasing pressures on the system in the county and nationally.
2I have learned today there are zero emergency accommodation beds currently in the county. To say this is a catastrophic disaster is an understatement. For months I have had a steady flow of constituents in private rented accommodation contacting me having been informed their landlord is planning to sell the property. The Residential Tenancies Board puts the number of eviction notices in Meath at 127. Yet there are only 35 rental properties available in Meath. 127 families will not fit into 30 rental properties. They cannot absorb these type of numbers. Most people contacting me are not long enough on the housing list to be allocated a property leaving the only option as emergency accommodation”.
Tóibín continued “Right now as things stand there are 319 people including children occupying 188 emergency accommodation units in the county according to Meath County Council figures. This is a staggering number given that emergency accommodation in the past was only ever intended to last for 3 months as a stop gap while people found alternative accommodation. As more landlords in the private rented sector have sought to sell their properties the imminent removal of the eviction ban places more people in Meath in a very precarious position where even emergency accommodation is now non-existent. I have had families, single people, and more mature people getting in on in years make contact with me in desperation which is particularly heart-breaking. Some single men have expressed concern that the only option provided to them are homeless hostels outside of the county and have told me they would rather sleep in their cars than be placed in environments which they feel are unsuitable. Something has to give. We have people seeking international protection in tents and its increasingly likely more and more Irish families are facing the same future”.
“The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has been quoted recently as saying his biggest regret is the ban he imposed on the construction sector during the COVID pandemic. I had challenged the government and the Minister for Housing at the time as to the logic of such a decision when no other EU countries didn’t impose such restrictions. This decision is one of the many that is now impacting on the supply and delivery of much needed accommodation. This is nothing short of a disaster and a failed government”, Tóibín concluded.