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Number of people in emergency accommodation drops below 10,000, latest figures show

There are 241 fewer people on the Department of Housing’s homeless list compared with last month.

Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

THE NUMBER OF people in Ireland in emergency homeless accommodation has fallen to below 10,000 people, according to government figures.

Latest statistics from the Department of Housing show there were 6,552 adults and 3,355 people in emergency accommodation last month.

It compares to 10,148 people who were homeless in February, a drop of 241 people.

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Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin welcomed the fall in the figures, but said “questions remain” about whether this was down to a longer trend.

“While any reduction of the number of people in emergency is to be welcomed, it is too early to tell whether this last month’s drop was a Covid-19 related anomaly or part of a more general trend,” he said.

“In reality, we won’t know until we have the first post Covid-19 restriction figures, which may be some months away.”

Wayne Stanley of the Simon Communities of Ireland said the latest figures were an anticipated but welcome drop, which reflect measures taken to prevent families and individuals from having to enter homelessness during the current emergency.

“With the ongoing efforts amongst service providers and local authorities, we hope to see another fall next month. This would be real progress,” he said.

However, he added that the figures came with a “word of caution” because many of those on the brink of homelessness had been supported because of the current moratorium on evictions.

“Once the health crisis eases, we need to ensure that there are preventative supports in place to help these families and individuals stay out of homeless emergency accommodation,” Stanley said.

“We believe that work should be a part of ongoing planning to unwind the restrictions put in place due to the health crisis and should continue as part of any new government strategy on homelessness.”

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