Leo Varadkar has claimed that homeless people are refusing social housing because 5,000 people have in the last two years.
Varadkar said people have the right to refuse and shut down claims the Government was planning on introducing a cap on the number of times a homeless person can do this.
Earlier this week, the Taoiseach claimed that homeless people have refused housing offers “multiple times”.
He made the controversial remarks at the Housing For All update.
“I work with a lot of people who are in emergency accommodation in my constituency.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended his Government's record on homelessness by saying some people in emergency accommodation "refuse multiple offers to go on social housing" | https://t.co/PFBgINLsbR pic.twitter.com/AkC8nRzdHP
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 11, 2023
“There are lots of people who are in emergency accommodation and who refuse multiple offers to go on social housing.
“It’s a much more complicated picture than people would like to make out,” he added.
Varadkar was accused of shifting the housing crisis blame onto those affected by it rather than the Government accepting its own mistakes.
He has since responded to the backlash with ‘evidence’ that people are abusing the system.
“The reasons are documented, sometimes they’re good reasons, sometimes they’re not, but we do allow people the right to refuse.”
Pearse Doherty called on Varadkar to apologise to homeless people for putting the blame on them.
He said his “shameful” comments caused “real hurt”.
Varadkar said he would rephrase his remarks and said “some” people have refused accommodation rather than “plenty”.
As of May 2023, 12,441 people were accessing emergency accommodation in Ireland.