Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

"Fermanagh accounts for 2% of homelessness in the North" - Gildernew

Published: 16 December, 2014

Michelle Gildernew MP has expressed her concern regarding homelessness statistics for the North and has called for the minister to immediately address the rising levels of homelessnes.

In reply to a question submitted to the Minister for Social Development, Ms. Gildernew says,

"In 2013/14 year 18,862 people had presented themselves as homeless in the North. Although this statistic is the lowest it has been in four years, it is still 18,862 people too many. Of these, 9,649 people were awarded 'Full Duty Applicant' status which is a housing applicant that the Housing Executive has a legal responsibility towards.

"Furthermore, of the 18,862 homeless people in the North, 374 of them are in Fermanagh. That is a huge amount of people for the size of the county and accounts for 2% of the total number of homeless in the six counties. Many people believe that homelessness only exists in Dublin and Belfast but unfortunately, these statistics prove otherwise.

"The right to shelter, to affordable quality accommodation is a basic inalienable right. Social policy should be centered on delivering this basic right. The tragic death of the homeless man Jonathan Corrie who died yards from Dail Eireann last week was absolutely heartbreaking, but also alarmingly factual. Mr. Corries' belongings consisted of a toothbrush, water and a needle - it's truly distressing to believe that there are 374 people in Fermanagh alone, suffering in the same way.

"With the current weather conditions and the Christmas festivities approaching, we cannot even imagine what they must be going through. We need a real commitment from the assembly and the minister to end long-term homelessness through the provision of social housing and a dedicated revenue stream for supported accommodation for the homeless." ENDS

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