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Housing crisis: Number of homeless families in Dublin exceeds 1,000 mark

There were a total of 1,173 families homeless in Dublin in September – a figure that includes 2,426 children.

Image: Shutterstock/Roman Bodnarchuk

FIGURES RELEASED BY the Government today show that there were over 1,000 families in homeless accommodation in September.

The report, which is released every month, is broken down by age, gender, region, and the housing scheme under which they fall – and shows a rise across all demographics.

Figures show that there were 4,283 adults, 1,173 families and 2,426 children sleeping in emergency accommodation in September of this year, representing an increase of almost 100 families compared to August.

The Government introduced ‘Rebuilding Ireland – an Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness’ in July of this year with the aim of “tackling homelessness in a comprehensive manner” through increasing the housing supply and a number of other proactive measures.

Figires Source: housing.gov.ie

The Department of Housing defended the figures release, saying that although there were rises, there were significant measures taken in their plan to fight homelessness:

“For example, during the course of 2015, housing authorities assisted in 2,322 sustainable exits from homelessness, i.e. into independent social housing or supported private rented tenancies.

“More than 1,350 exits were achieved nationally in the first half of this year and in Dublin a further 411 exits have been achieved in the third quarter.

“A total of 1,761 exits nationally,” according to the Department.

“I have said that it will take time to turn the tide on homelessness for both families and individuals,” added Minister for Housing Simon Coveney.

Pie chart Source: housing.gov.ie

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin accused the government of publishing the figures late and “quietly on the Department website on a day when the media are focused on the Brexit forum.”

He added that “these figures do not include those sofa-surfing or those refused access to emergency accommodation despite having no home of their own.

Response

Focus Ireland said that while it is supporting at least one family to move on from homelessness every day this year, the reality is that inadequate prevention strategies means more than one other family becomes homeless that same day.

Focus Ireland director of advocacy Mike Allen said:

“We need to stop the constant flow of families and single people becoming homeless.”

Our frontline staff have seen first-hand that the two key reasons families are becoming homeless is one, landlords are selling up and getting out of the business, and two, rising rents.

“Both these issues are within the power of the government to tackle and while they have taken some actions they have clearly not done enough, fast enough.”

Read: New counselling rooms for homeless people open in Dublin today

Read: There are now nearly 1,000 homeless families in emergency accommodation in Dublin

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