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More than 2,500 children were homeless in the last week of November

From 21-27 November, a total of 1,023 families were homeless in Dublin alone.

THERE WERE MORE than 1,200 families homeless in the last week of November, according the Housing Department’s latest report.

From 21-27 November, a total of 1,023 families were homeless in Dublin alone.

From those figures, the total number of dependents (children) homeless was 2,549.

A total of 1,622 adults within those families were homeless that week.

homelessness report Department of Housing Department of Housing

In total, the latest figures show that 6,985 people (including children) were homeless during that period.

homelessness report

While the report states that a number of advances have been made, such as 1,761 people exiting homelessness nationally this year, Sinn Féin’s Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Minister Simon Coveney of “trying to bury bad news during the holiday season”.

O’Broin said this is the first time the total number of people experiencing homelessness has almost reached 7,000.

homelessness report Department of Housing Department of Housing

“The figures released today show a 30% increase in family and child homelessness on November 2015 and a 20% increase in  adult homelessness,” said Ó Broin.

30/12/2016. Apollo House. Pictured is Irish Housin Irish Housing Network volunteer, Tommy Gavin at Apollo House. Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

The latest figures come as the homelessness crisis is once again thrust into the limelight, with the occupation of Apollo House in Dublin over the Christmas period, as well as homeless activists taking hold of an apartment block in Finglas yesterday.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney recently tweeted that his department are “ramping up” the building of new social housing projects with a budget increase of 50% next year. He also pointed out that an extra 210 emergency beds were rolled out this Christmas.

“There is an urgent need for the Government to step up its house acquisition and building programme to get these adults and children out of emergency accommodation,” said O’Broin, adding:

Given that Fine Gael have been in office for the last five years these figures are a damning indictment of the failure of their housing policies.
2017 can be the year Government ends homelessness but only if they match their words with action and crucially with funds. Today’s homeless figures are a reminder that such actions are still not forthcoming from the current administration.

Coveney has committed to getting families out of hotel and B&B emergency accommodation by the middle of next year.

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