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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 15 August, 2020
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Homeless numbers in south Dublin rose 60% in nine months

In October, there were 439 people on the council’s homeless register.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

THE NUMBER OF people presenting to South Dublin County Council has shot up in the last nine months according to the latest figures.

In January this year, there were 274 people registered as homeless with the council – that figure in October was 439, representing a 60% increase.

Local Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said he has seen steady numbers of families presenting as homeless since September 2014.

“The difference now is that the length of time they spend in emergency accommodation is much longer. The figures now are 12 to 15 months in south Dublin and two years in Dublin city”.

Ó Broin also said these numbers do not fully represent the problem in his area as they exclude certain groups of people, like those who are couch surfing or people living with their families on a temporary basis.

“If it doesn’t work out for some reason and they are thrown out, they are turned away at the desk because they don’t have any supporting documentation from a professional,” he explained.

Resources in the housing section of the council are under so much, he said some families have been told to “self accommodate”.

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“There was a couple with six kids, he was working and she had six jobs taking care of the kids. They lost their private rental accommodation, they were already on the council list, but when they went to the council there was no emergency accommodation.

They were given a list of hotels and told to get a room and the council would pay for it. They couldn’t get one and on the day of their notice to quit, the council said they better overhold – stay there illegally essentially – which they did for six weeks. For six weeks they were running around phoning all the hotels themselves to get a space.

Ó Broin said he believes the government should be allowing the council to purchase homes that are ready to move into, rather than cheaper derelict houses that need a lot of work done – and therefore time spent on them – to make them habitable.

Some estates have former council houses up for sale for “good value” he said, and these could be bought up by the council.

The TD said the government should also work on addressing rent certainty and legislation to ensure tenants have rights to remain in a property if it is sold or repossessed.

Read: ‘The most loving girl’: Tributes paid at funeral of homeless woman in Limerick>

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

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