Simon Coveney says housing and homelessness crisis is a 'national emergency'

Minister Coveney says the housing crisis is biggest issue facing the new Government

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Simon Coveney. Image:

We have a national emergency in the housing sector, according to Simon Coveney.

The new Housing Minister says a number of different elements need to be addressed to fix problems such as the emergency accommodation process.

However, he says the Programme for Government, which is expected to be published this week, will contain a comprehensive plan to tackle the crisis.

Speaking ahead of the first full meeting of the new Cabinet this morning, Minister Coveney said he hopes that he can end the emergency in his new role as Minister.

"It's going to be a real challenge for me, because I think housing and homelessness is the single biggest issue facing the Government," he said.

He added that he has been working late hours trying to start putting together a comprehensive response to the emergency.

A cross-party Dáil committee on housing has already started hearing from experts, and has just over a month to produce a report on how the Government should tackle the issue.