I have been contacted by a large number of people regards the issue of homelessness. I have pledged my support for Focus Ireland and if elected in the upcoming election i will support them in whatever way I can.
the following is a copy of the letter sent to me.
Dear Joe Newman,
I am a voter in the local constituency where you will be seeking election in May, and I am writing to you to raise a very important issue for me – the growing housing crisis in local communities across Ireland, and the rising homelessness which it causes.
There is a serious shortage of housing for people, whether they want to rent or buy and whether they are in work or unemployed. But for people who are struggling on welfare or low incomes the problem has become impossible, as there are virtually no properties on offer in the private rental market. Rising rents and a lack of social housing means more people than ever are at risk of losing their home.
For the worst affected, this has blocked escape routes for families and individuals who are homeless – keeping them trapped for long periods living in emergency accommodation or sleeping rough. Homeless services are stretched to breaking point due to the impact of cumulative funding cuts over a period of years, a sharp drop in donations and a rise in the number of people seeking support.
In the absence of a sufficient supply of homes to address the issue of homelessness we need our local authorities to better protect families and people who are homeless. The most effective way that this can be achieved is by ensuring adequate support services are in place. In January this year, the Dublin Councillors took a courageous and hugely important step by reversing a proposed €6 million cut in the homeless budget. But what view will the incoming councillors take next year?
I know this is an issue you will be hearing every day in your canvassing, so I am writing to ask you to sign the Focus Ireland pledge and agree that if elected as a Councillor you will never vote for a budget that cuts funding to homeless services until we see a reduction in the number of people who are homeless. There is more about this campaign on their web-site at www.focusireland.ie/get-involved/take-action .
If you gain election, the housing and homelessness crisis will be one of the greatest challenges you face. I hope you will play your part to improve the support and housing options available for people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home in your area and act to protect some of the most vulnerable in our society. If you support this pledge please reply to me and copy email@example.com . Focus Ireland will send you an ‘e-badge’ for your web-site/Facebook page.