Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has described the findings of a European Commission report as “blindingly obvious.”
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after a report released by the commission found that the main cause of rising levels of homelessness in Ireland was a lack of social housing.
Ms Ní Riada said the findings were blindingly obvious to everyone but the Government.
“The European Commission’s annual report on Ireland states clearly that the increasing levels of homelessness in Ireland are caused by a lack of social housing. Plain and simple,” she said.
“The report, which covers all aspects of Ireland’s economy and public sector, clearly sees the government’s unwillingness to build social housing as the cause of more and more people becoming homeless.
“The European Commission is far from a champion of social justice. They share Fine Gael’s right-wing economic views and belief in austerity policies.
“Yet, even they recognise that skyrocketing homelessness in Ireland is the direct result of a failure by this government to build an adequate amount of social housing.
“The government for years now have been trying to confuse this issue. When challenged on the homelessness crisis, they talk about new-builds, increasing the housing stock, anything to avoid taking about the glaring need for social housing.
“We have the highest levels of homelessness in the history of the state, market forces and private investment will never fix this crisis.
“The government has caused the homelessness crisis by not building the social housing the country desperately needs.
“It is no accident that this policy keeps house prices and rents high.
“This government won’t build sufficient social housing because there is so much money being made from the housing crisis. Landlords, developers and banks are enjoying skyrocketing profit margins.
“Banks, I might add, that are making millions in profit with not a brass cent to be paid in tax while the ordinary working people of Ireland continue to bail them out
“But you only have to walk through our cities and towns to see the collateral damage caused by this callous housing policy.”