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 Full text 
Monday, 13 January 2020 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

“Housing First” as urgent action to address the situation of homeless people in Europe (debate)

  Ciarán Cuffe (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, in Ireland there are 4000 children without a home. Homelessness impacts greatly on women, on children, among young people and migrants. And sadly, I don’t believe that our Irish Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD, and his Fine Gael colleagues, understand the urgency of this and the depth of the crisis in Dublin, in Ireland, and in cities around Europe.

Mairead McGuinness spoke earlier about a slight reduction in rough sleeping. What she failed to point out is that we have seen more than a doubling of homelessness in Ireland in five years, over a doubling amongst women and a quadrupling of the amount of homelessness amongst children. That needs action.

And there are ways to solve this. It shouldn’t mean going from the streets into a hostel, into a hotel, into a homeless hub and, if you’re lucky – 10 years later – into a home. What it does need is Housing First! And the lesson from Finland and the lesson from Vienna, from Austria, of the Housing First model, of the cost-rental model, shows that if you build homes, if you provide a roof over people’s heads, it works.

So I want to see the European Commission start a convention on homelessness to bring attention to the problem and then learn these lessons and work with the European Investment Bank and the European Central Bank to provide the funding to solve this crisis.

We shouldn’t have homelessness in 2020.

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