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Dublin hotelier received €8 million to house homeless families last year

The high payments to hoteliers has continued into 2017 with hotels and B&Bs receiving a total of €23.9 million for the six months to the end of June.

#mynameis Campaign to raise awareness of Child Homelessness
#mynameis Campaign to raise awareness of Child Homelessness
Image: Sam Boal

A DUBLIN HOTELIER received up to €8 million in payments to accommodate the homeless in the capital last year.

That is according to figures released by the Dublin Homeless Regional Executive (DHRE) which confirm that the unnamed hotelier received payments between €7 million and €8 million, with a second hotelier receiving payments between €2 million and €3 million, last year to house the homeless in hotel rooms.

The figures – released in response to a Freedom of Information request – show that a further seven hoteliers received payments between €1 million and €2 million last year.

The high payments to hoteliers has continued into 2017 with hotels and B&Bs receiving a total of €23.9 million for the six months to the end of June.

Hoteliers and B&B operators received €12 million between April and June and €11.94 million between January and March.

Included in that amount is payments totalling €3 million to €4 million to one hotelier, with two hoteliers receiving payments between €1 million and €2 million.


In addition to the €23.9 million paid out between January and June to 127 operators, Dublin City Council has paid out €6.1 million to commercial emergency accommodation providers resulting in a total payout of €30 million for the first six months to private operators providing emergency accommodation to the homeless.

The budget for payments to hotels for the entire year is €49 million.

The €23.9 million spend to hoteliers for the first six months of this year compares to €38.9 million to hoteliers for the entire of 2016 while commercial emergency accommodation providers were paid €9m for the 12 months of 2016.

A spokeswoman for the DHRE said yesterday that 520 families have moved to ‘hubs’ between January to end-September 2017.

She said: “The initial capital programme for Dublin family hubs is €25m. Subsequent to that the Minister has announced a further €20m in ring-fenced capital funding available nationally.”

The latest figures provided from the Department of Housing show that 5,953 were living in emergency accommodation in September in Dublin including 2,416 children.

Independent member of Dublin City Council, Councillor Mannix Flynn said that the payments to hoteliers to accommodate the homeless “are off the Richter scale”.

He said:

Who are these hoteliers? How are these deals done? We should be told that.  There needs to be transparency. A forensic audit of payments to private operators needs to be carried out and of all costs associated with the accommodating the homeless.”

“The more people are on the streets, the more money these people are making. €8 million to one hotelier is huge money. That would build a lot of houses and provide a huge amount of services.”

Previously, the FOI unit at the City Council declined to reveal what the 10 highest amounts paid to hotel operators/firms were or the top amounts received by privately owned hostels and B&Bs in 2015.

The Council stated that these details are commercially sensitive and it could damage the negotiating position of the City Council with private landlords/operators and could also result in further costs and the potential loss of accommodation.

The City Council had previously published the names of hotels and payments on quarterly produced purchase orders but discontinued this practice in 2015.

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About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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