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€500m needed to tackle homelessness as 'ten children a week lose their home'

Focus Ireland is calling for an ‘immediate’ increase in rent supplement in Budget 2015.

Image: sad child via Shutterstock

TEN CHILDREN BECAME homeless each week so far this year in the nation’s capital, according to new figures from a homelessness charity.

Focus Ireland said that in September alone, 45 families became homeless in Dublin, with the figure adding up to a total of 350 so far this year.

The charity is calling on the Government to dedicate €500 million in Budget 2015 to building thousands of homes to tackle the growing homelessness crisis.

They have criticised the Government for conceding that homelessness is at crisis point, but not making the necessary policy changes to tackle the issue.

In its pre-budget submission, Focus Ireland said that 3,000 homes are needed, as well as an “immediate increase” in rent supplement.

It said more needs to be down to tackle the ‘affordable housing crisis’. The charity will be reviewing Minister for Environment, Community, and Local Government Alan Kelly’s new social housing plan when it is publishing in the coming weeks.

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“The housing crisis cannot be solved without substantial Government investment in public housing and this must start in the coming Budget,” director of advocacy Mike Allen said.

“These figures show that the homeless crisis for families is continuing unabated.

Focus Ireland believes that the government must take action to urgently deliver more family homes – not just more emergency accommodation – if it is to stem this rising flow of families and individuals becoming homeless.”

Originally published 3.26pm

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Nicky Ryan

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