Fr Peter McVerry is calling on the Government to introduce legislation to stop banks evicting families as the homeless crisis is deemed an emergency.


Warning that the wealthy and powerful are being supported over the vulnerable, Fr McVerry said that it highlights the “gross power imbalance” in Irish society.


Talking on the Sean O’Rourke Show, the campaigner said that when Alan Kelly was in charge of housing he had “his hands tied”.


“Alan Kelly was frustrated in that role by the lack of co-operation from government departments and statutory bodies,” said Fr McVerry on the RTÉ show.


 “His hands were tied. There were things he wanted to do, but he got no support from other government departments and then he got all the blame.”



In reference to the focus the Government has put on Irish Water in the last few weeks, he added that the housing crisis was being pushed further to the end of the list.


“One of problems is that when something occurs over a long time it becomes normal. It is becoming normal to see homeless people. It is now becoming the norm, people are no longer outraged. That sense of normality when you see lots and lots of homeless people makes it difficult to express outrage,” he explained.


Asking the Government to immediately increase rent allowance and for the banks to stop evictions, he called for the “42,000 permanently empty houses and apartments in Dublin” to be used to help the “45,000 families on the housing list”.


“I know one family evicted from their home two years ago. Their home was repossessed, they went into emergency accommodation, they still pass the home they were living in and two years later it is still boarded up. That is immoral. It should be made illegal."


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