For more than a year the homeless crisis has featured in the news. From the tragic death of Jonthan Corrie on the street in front of the Dail, though promises of ‘modular housing’ and ‘rent certainty’, to the record 1,600 children who are now homeless with their families, homelessness was rarely off the front pages.
But now the election has been called there is a real danger that the housing and homeless crisis will be side-lined by politicians determined to talk only about tax rates, fiscal space and who should get the praise and the blame.
So Focus Ireland is asking everyone who has supported our campaigns to remind politicians that housing and homelessness are not marginal issues, they matter to everyone and require real answers.
We have formulated five key questions that we believe that every candidate should answer.
- Will you look for the incoming Government to make a renewed commitment to ending long-term h omelessness and the need to sleep rough and set a target date for achieving this?
- Will you insist that the incoming Government has a programme to build at least 40,000 social houses over its lifetime?
- Will you support holding a referendum on the ‘right to a home’ within the first three years of the next Government?
- Will you look for the incoming Government to have a realistic and effective plan to end family homelessness? T
- Will you insist that the incoming Government commit to ending the youth homelessness trap?
You can get more detail on these issues on our leaflet. There are two ways that you can raise these questions with candidates:
- print out the five questions leaflet and kee p it somewhere near your front door so that when canvassers call you have it to hand. You might want to pick one or two of the five points that mean the most to you – and focus on those along with the other issues that matter to you.
- Send an e-mail from our campaign web-site to all the candidates in your constituency. You can go to the campaign site here .
We know there are many issues that will be on your mind when you decide how to cast your vote. Your concern about homelessness will be one of them, so make sure that politicians know what is on your mind over the next few weeks.
With thanks for your support.
Director of Advocacy