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Dublin: 8°C Thursday 21 October 2021

People are angry and dismayed that whole families still have to live in hotel rooms

The programme let the families document their own struggle with temporary accommodation.

Image: RTÉ

THERE HAS BEEN an outpouring of shock following RTÉ’s Investigates My Homeless Family documentary.

The programme, broadcast last night, showed footage of three families filmed over a three-month period, documenting the difficulties they encountered trying to live in temporary accommodation.

Speaking immediately following the programme on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne, Minister of State with a special responsibility for housing, Paudie Coffey, said that the situation was “unacceptable” and that it was “something that the government is treating a priority, given the circumstances that these people find themselves in”.

Responding this morning, Cathal Morgan, director of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, said that the number of families becoming homeless had stabilised in the past few months, but that the supply of local authority houses was still at a low level.

“The use of commercial hotels is not sustainable… we’re doing it because the alternative is the streets,” he said.

He went on to say that there were alternative accommodation schemes, like modular housing, that would be more readily available – and which he hoped families would avail of.

The show also provoked a big backlash online, with viewers dismayed at the conditions the families on the programme were living in.

Writing on Twitter, Mike Allen, the director of advocacy with Focus Ireland, wrote, “Nama will build 10,000 homes but only 20% go to social housing – the rest sold for profit. Why?”

The Simon Community tweeted in reaction to the programme: “What this means is whole families in 1 hotel room eating, sleeping, playing, doing homework – all in one room.”

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

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