Minister of State Damien English (centre) with Laois councillors Paschal McEvoy, Mary Sweeney, Paddy Bracken, Cathaoirleach Padraig Fleming and Willie Aird.
The Minister of State for Housing believes that homeless Laois people 'decide' to couchsurf to try to get a permanent council home, in the same week that a homeless man and his son continue to sleep in their car.
Minister Damien English came to Laois to tell the council to apply for money for more council houses.
Speaking after to the Leinster Express about 'couchsurfing' by people without a home, he said there are enough supports to avoid it.
“If someone is in a position where they’ve no home, the state provides them with temporary accommodation. In larger cities that can be a hotel but in places like Portlaoise where there’s vacant properties there’s no reason for that.
“Not everyone wants to do that, they decide they want to wait for a long term solution. I’ve seen all the vacant properties today on my trip around Laois,” he said.
Meanwhile, a homeless man and his son are spending a second week sleeping in a car, after their rent jumped in Portlaoise, and the council's maximum of three temporary accommodation offers ended or failed to give them a suitable home.
The son who is in leaving cert year, has attended the doctor suffering from stress arising from their plight. See full story here.