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11 December 2019

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Sinn Féin lay out the human cost of the housing crisis

“Nothing could have prepared me for the trauma and heartache of these cases. The suffering, the hurt and despair that is felt by people the length and breadth of the State is staggering.” – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has published a document comprising real-life submissions from people impacted by the housing crisis. Deputy McDonald published a video on her social media accounts last week calling on people to share their lived experiences of the housing crisis.

The comments from the Dublin Central TD came shortly after a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy fell after the government and some Independent TDs supported Murphy, whilst Fianna Fáil sat on their hands and abstained.

Over the past week, hundreds of submissions came flooding into Deputy McDonald highlighting the harsh reality faced by people living through the housing crisis.

One mother wrote how she and her three children live out of one bedroom in a B&B and how her autistic son’s additional needs cannot be met and they have no access to kitchen facilities. Another person wrote about ten people living in a single home with three bedrooms.

An anonymous mother wrote to Mary Lou outlining her experience of the Housing Crisis

An anonymous mother wrote to Mary Lou outlining her experience of the Housing Crisis

Speaking to An Phoblacht, Deputy McDonald said “I uploaded a video to my Facebook page asking for people to tell their story of the housing crisis. Nothing could have prepared me for the trauma and heartache of these cases. The suffering, the hurt and despair that is felt by people the length and breadth of the State is staggering.”

Another person wrote to Mary Lou to highlight a case of ten people living in one house with three bedrooms

Another person outlined the overcrowding they face, with ten people living in a three bedroom home

Deputy McDonald told An Phoblacht that she has given copies of the document to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

“They need to see the consequences of their failed housing policies”, she said.

Ms McDonald raised one the cases with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil today.

Kevin Maughan, aged seven, asked Santa if he can deliver his presents to his emergency accommodation as he is homeless.

Varadkar deflected McDonald’s plea to deliver public housing and reduce rents by accusing Ms McDonald of seeking to hold a monopoly on compassion.

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