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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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Senator Fintan Warfield

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Snippet Contents:

I second Senator Devine's amendment to the Order of Business. Like Senator Black, I wish to reflect on the comments made by the chief executive of Dublin City Council in The Sunday Business Post last weekend. To remind the Leader, he stated, "The best way to solve homelessness in Dublin would be to provide no beds." He also believes that providing quality emergency accommodation would create a system whereby people would not want to leave. He went on to state, "The more you do in terms of service the more it becomes attractive". Those comments show a huge degree of ill judgment on the part of someone who holds an influential position in terms of tackling the housing and homelessness issues and the crisis of rough sleeping in this city. We all know well that it is a crisis. On the day on which those comments were made, a man died in a homeless services unit, something that is all too constant among Dublin's homeless. People are homeless because of a lack of social and affordable housing. No one wants to rely on homeless services. People want security, certainty and a sufficient number of homes to be built so that they can have a roof over their heads.
The normalisation of homelessness is incredibly harmful to our most vulnerable people. The last time we had an issue like this, it involved the former chair of the Housing Agency. I saw him on RTÉ and I asked, "Who let this fellow out?" Not only did he say that homelessness was normal once, he said it again a few days later. This shows a distinct lack of care and understanding of the complexities in terms of how people become homeless. Those who want to normalise homelessness should consider going out and talking to rough sleepers to see how they feel about our services. They will not be long finding them at night. Fewer services means more tents. We only have to look at San Francisco. The chief executive of Dublin City Council should apologise.