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19 Dublin hotels received over €1 million each for accommodating homeless people in 2019

One hotel received payments between €4 million and €5 million.

Image: RollingNews.ie

NINETEEN HOTELS IN Dublin each received payments in excess of €1 million last year to provide emergency accommodation for the homeless.

One hotel received payments between €4 million and €5 million according to new figures provided by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) which confirmed that the spend on providing temporary and emergency accommodation for the homeless soared by 19% to €170 million in 2019.

In the four years of 2016, 2017, 2018 and last year hoteliers have received cumulative payments totalling €203.5 million as the number of homeless requiring emergency accommodation soared.

Last year, hotels received payments from the DRHE totalling €56.6 million to provide emergency accommodation and this represented an increase of 10.7% on the €51.1 million paid out in 2018.

A breakdown of the €170 million spend on providing emergency accommodation for the homeless shows that €80.16 million was paid to hotels and B&Bs.

The figures show that the amount paid to non-governmental organisations for supported temporary accommodation, including family hubs totalled €70.26 million – an increase of 16% on the €60.62 million paid out under that heading in 2018.

The remaining €19.9 million of the €170.33 million total was paid to ‘other’.

The 19 hotels to receive in excess of €1 million last year compared to 15 hotels receiving payments in excess of €1 million in 2018.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, the DRHE confirmed that one other hotel operator last year received payments between €3 million and €4 million to accommodate the homeless.

A further four hotels received payments between €2 million and €3 million with an additional 13 hotels receiving payments between €1 million and €2 million.

Another 21 hotels received payments between €500,000 and €1 million.

In total, 70 hotels provided emergency accommodation for the homeless last year.

The sharp increase in payments to emergency accommodation providers came against the background of further increases in the numbers homeless in Dublin in 2019.

The numbers of homeless accommodated in hotels and B&Bs increased by 15.6% from 2,282 made up of 1,488 children and 934 adults in January 2019 to 2,638 at the end of December made up of 1,633 children and 1,005 adults.

Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn described the spend as an “absolute disgrace”.

The DRHE declined to name the hotels and B&Bs that have received payment.

The FOI unit stated: “I am satisfied that the financial and commercial interest of the emergency accommodation providers would be negatively impacted by the released of this information.”

The FOI unit also states that it was satisfied that the release of this information would have a significant adverse impact on the management of the DRHE.

The unit also concluded that the release of such records would breach the confidentiality of providers as being a requirement for their continued supply of emergency accommodation for persons experiencing homelessness in Dublin.

About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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