Simon Community: Homelessness 'escalating across the country'

The Simon Community is calling on the Government to fully support the implementation plan on the State’s Response to Homelessness, saying the problem is not just in Dublin.

The report, which will come before the Cabinet today, outlines the State’s plan to achieve the national objective of ending long-term homelessness by 2016.

The plan also addresses the recommendations contained in the Homelessness Oversight Group's First Report.

Barnardos criticised the Coalition for not seeing the urgency of families being put up in unsuitable accommodation.

The National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities, Niamh Randall, said the targets in the plan are "achievable if there is a political will" there and the problem of homelessness is rising "right across the country".

The Public Expenditure Minister says all State agencies will be asked to contribute property for use as emergency housing where appropriate.

Brendan Howlin was speaking on the way into this morning’s Cabinet meeting where the Housing Minister’s plan to get rid of long-term homelessness by 2016 will dominate the agenda.

It is understood the plan contains measures such as converting abandoned Garda stations, care homes and hospitals into housing units - while NAMA may be asked to contribute abandoned apartments and hotels.

Minister Brendan Howlin says nothing will be excluded from the review.

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