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Bloodstained mattresses and rat infestation: just some of the complaints from homeless families to the council

Families also complained about cockroaches, anti-social behaviours and late night bars in their accommodation.
Jan 18th 2016, 7:54 PM 13,614 17

RAT AND COCKROACH infestation, human faeces on the floor, anti-social behaviour and loud pubs on the premises, these are just some of the complaints sent by homeless families living in emergency accommodation to the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) in 2015.

Details of the complaints were released by the DRHE to RTÉ News, and contain many details of the negative conditions in which families find themselves.

One person sent in a complaint of rats in the apartment:

There is a very serious problem with rats in the apartment. They’re jumping on the bed, in the kitchen, all over the place. My children are constantly sick.

Another complaint spoke of cockroaches in the building:

I have seen video footage of cockroaches in the shower and rooms of this family- the children are terrified.

Other complaints included ones about bloodstained mattresses, bed bugs, anti-social behaviour from other residents and late bars and lock-ins on the premises.

Response

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Mike Allen, director of advocacy with Focus Ireland, said that it was unacceptable that families were being forces to live in these conditions.

The homeless executive responded to the problems quite quickly but these are the sort of problems that shouldn’t be arising in the first place… it’s shocking that a family has to complain about a rat infestation or stuff going missing from the rooms or mould where there are babies.

Allen said that the nature of the complaints meant that the DRHE was being forced to put families into unsuitable accommodation.

“The homeless executive is not slow in responding but is putting these families in this accommodation in the first place,” he said.

The chances of them being able to have some stable family life in the first place and secondly to be able to get the support together to move out of homelessness is massively undermined.

Latest figures show that there are a total of 3,463 people living in emergency accommodation (hostels or hotels) in Ireland, with over 1,600 children.

TheJournal.ie has contacted the DRHE for information on the complaints.

Read: Homeless man gives police officers Christmas gift after they save his injured dog

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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