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865 families were in emergency accommodation in Dublin at the end of August

There were 8,702 people in emergency accommodation nationwide in August.

Image: Shutterstock/Alex Cimbal

THERE WERE 856 families in emergency accommodation in Dublin at the end of August, according to the latest figures. 

This is the lowest number since April 2016, and represents a small reduction on the July figures of 862, Dublin City Council said.

The corresponding figure for January 2020 was 1,201.

At the end of August there were 302 families in hotels, down 32 from July. This is the lowest number since April 2015.

Figures from the Department of Housing show that there were 8,702 people in emergency accommodation nationwide in August, a slight decrease on the 8,728 people homeless in July. 

“While the reduction in numbers is always very welcome, we fully accept that there are still far too many families in emergency accommodation, including hotels,” said Dublin City Council Deputy Chief Executive Brendan Kenny.

“We are very conscious of the challenge that still exists on homelessness in the Dublin area.”

The situation in relation to single persons is more complex, and the total number of single adults in emergency accommodation continues to rise, the Council noted.

In August, the figure was 2,962.

“In recent months, we have successfully sourced a significant amount of additional emergency accommodation to cater for the increasing demand, whilst also keeping an eye on the upcoming winter period,” added Kenny.

“During the winter period numbers amongst single adults are likely to increase. This is a trend that we are always aware of, and we prepare for it throughout the year,” he said.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive is due to publish its annual Cold Weather Strategy soon.

Following the publication of the Department of Housing’s August figures, charities warned that drops in recent figures could be reversed after the government lifted the moratorium on evictions and rent freezes.

At the time, Inner City Helping Homeless welcomed the “minor reductions” but added they aren’t something to be “getting too excited about”. 

Its CEO Anthony Flynn said: “We are seeing an increase in the number of homeless adults and the overall Dublin figure is back on the rise. We saw considerable reductions in figures whilst the eviction ban was in place and that trended, as soon as it was lifted, we see increases.”

Social Democrats housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan said: “I’m calling on the Minister for Housing to immediately bring forward legislation that would permanently eliminate most grounds for eviction to bring us into line with most other European countries.

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“Organisations working with homeless people have reported a significant rise of people sleeping rough who are faced with increasing obstacles when accessing emergency accommodation. We need a rough sleeper count done as soon as possible.”

With reporting by Sean Murray

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