Midlands Housing Action Group hosts open meeting in bid to address housing crisis
The Midlands Housing Action and Support group will be hosting their first open meeting at the Annebrook Hotel, Mullingar on Tuesday, November 13 at 7.30pm.
According to Alejandro Criado, of the Irish Housing Network, the organisation of groups such as these and others across the country is in direct response to the homeless and housing crisis that Ireland is facing.
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Between 2013 -2018 rent increases have been recorded of 66.1% in Laois, 51.6% in Longford, 52.8% in Offaly and 56.9% in Westmeath.
Mr Criado said, "The Midlands has not been immune from the crisis. According to a recent report, the Midlands has seen an increase of over 50% in its counted homeless population. Since August 2017 the number of homeless has increased by 1,257 to 9,527. Over 3,500 children are homeless in Ireland in 2018."
He continued, "These figures our not reflective of the distressed and the invisible in the Midlands. Those who have lost their homes due to the unwillingness of elected officials to tackle the shortage of public housing, exponential cost for rental accommodation and the sale of mortgages to vulture funds. Now living with friends, parents, siblings, children. Sleeping in cars, vans, caravans in fields or quiet roads, in tents, often away from places where they will be included in rough sleeper counts and out of view of their peers.
"So often is the case that those who are in these situations of immense anxiety feel deserted, especially from those of authority."
The purpose of Midlands Housing Action and Support is to show solidarity with those who feel abandoned and to empower all those who call these counties ‘home’.
Members of both the Take Back The City and the Irish Housing Network will be in attendance of the event.
Mr Criado explained that The Midlands Housing Action and Support group is one of the many groups receiving assistance and training from the Take Back The City and the Irish Housing Network. "This will be provided through workshops in the community, housing support (how to assist tenants in rental disputes at the Residential Tenancies Board of Ireland), direct actions, media and campaigns."
Similar meetings to the one in Mullingar, have already taken place in Kildare, Louth, Waterford, Limerick, Belfast, Cork and Galway.