The homeless need a roof over their heads before our sympathy
It is high time that the Government addresses the issue of homelessness as the number of people who do not have a roof over their heads increases in our country. What do homeless people really need? The reply, housing, seems obvious. Homeless people who live in poverty, more than anything, need a place to stay. People who live on the streets (and they are not only foreigners) need a permanent roof over their heads urgently. And this is their right.
In a booming economy, one does not expect to hear about people who are struggling to make ends meet and who cannot afford to rent accommodation. But this is the reality. We have heard about people living in garages and people sleeping in cars.
During these last two legislatures, the Labour Government has failed to allocate funds in the budget for social housing. In the last few months, however, it was announced that new social housing units are going to be built and are expected to be completed next year. We think that this is too late, Mr Government, because the number of people sleeping on the streets in the cold is increasing not decreasing.
To add to the problem, we are now experiencing a lack of sustainability in the rental sector. We must find a solution together with the interested parties because the rent situation is hitting thousands of families and workers. Not to mention the people who are considered to make up the lowest faction of society.
We all agree that this country and our society cannot continue to experience this persistent rise in accommodation prices. Action is needed to address the various factors that are exacerbating this situation in order to safeguard our quality of life.
In the meantime, those who have never experienced a stable lifestyle should be given priority. Unfortunately, some lifestyles are such that they make it difficult for one to live in one place. We cannot assume that homeless people are the architects of their misfortune and that their troubles arise from their lifestyle choices. The right to housing is as entrenched as the right to clean drinking water.