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'There is no silver bullet,' says Murphy as homeless figure above 10,000 for fourth month in a row

There are still 1,700 families homeless in Ireland.

Stock image of Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy
Stock image of Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy
Image: Sam Boal

THERE ARE MORE than 10,000 people classified as homeless in Ireland for the fourth month in a row, according to the latest figure from the Department of Housing. 

The latest figures for the month of May were released today and show that there are 1,700 families homeless – made up of 6,504 adults and 3,749 children, and totalling 10,253 people overall. 

Although this month’s figure represents a drop of 125 people on April’s figure, it also shows that this is the fourth month in a row in which the homeless figure has been above 10,000.

In February there was a total of 10,264 people in homelessness, which climbed further in the months following.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1′s News at One programme, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said:

“We saw a small reduction in the month of May which is welcome. About 75 families left emergency accommodation – actually every week, every month, families are leaving emergency accommodation into homes.

But, we have to remember more than 10,000 people are still in emergency accommodation. Our focus has to remain on them and getting them in homes. 

“There’s no doubt about it. The number of children coming into emergency accommodation is unacceptable, there should be no children in emergency accommodation.

Summer

Thousands of children across the country are finishing up the school term today for the summer holidays, leaving those living in emergency accommodation resigned to hotel and B&B rooms for much of the next two months. 

“Summer can be a challenging time for any parent, but particularly, parents of children in homelessness, and I’ve met so many myself find it very difficult every day of the year,” Murphy said. 

“Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet when it comes to the crisis we face in housing at the minute.

“There’s no one single measure that’s going to solve it, it’s a series of measures that we’re implementing that are going to bring us to a more stable housing environment.

“It’s difficult to catch up on 10 years of under building in housing in a two or three year period but we’re pulling every lever that we can.”

A report from property site Daft.ie this week showed the rate at which house prices are rising has begun to slow down as a result of more properties entering the market. 

Meanwhile, the latest figures have led to fresh criticism from activists. 

CEO of Inner City Helping Homeless and Dublin City councillor, Anthony Flynn, said: “The minister has made no headway in tackling the crisis and homelessness has considerably worsened throughout his tenure.

“The system is in complete turmoil, the crisis is a direct result of systemic failures from government and the complete lack of social and affordable housing,” he said. 

The latest release from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government also comes as it was revealed that a major homeless hostel in Dublin will close shortly. 

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive said it would increase its emergency accommodation capacity in the coming weeks in response. 

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