Coveney: Claim that emergency hostels were set up due to Home Sweet Home campaign 'just not true'

The Housing Minister Simon Coveney is denying that two new emergency hostels are being provided for Dublin as a result of the Home Sweet Home Campaign.

Activists said last night that the accommodation had been secured as part of the deal agreed with Simon Coveney which would see them end their occupation of Apollo House.

However he insists the hostels were already approved on foot of a request from Dublin City Council before he met the campaigners.

Minister Coveney says he did agree to part of the deal announced last night, but not all of it.

He said: "But a lot of what is in it we did agree, some of what is in it we didn't agree actually.

"It makes clear in that document that Dublin City Council made it clear to them that if it wasn't for the Home Sweet Home campaign, there wouldn't be two new emergency hostels.

"I mean, I've checked with Dublin City Council, that's just not true."

However, the Housing Minister has acknowledged that the Home Sweet Home campaign got people talking about homelessness in recent weeks.

Minister Coveney today praised the work of long standing organisations like Cluid and the Father Peter McVerry trust for the work they do with him on homelessness, but he admitted that the Home Sweet Home campaign did get people talking.

Mr Coveney said: "They have successfully, I would say, got a conversation on homelessness happening over Christmas.

"Many people, who otherwise would not have been talking and thinking about homelessness, were over Christmas because of that campaign."

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