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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Sam Boal/ Dublin City Council welcomed the drop in families in emergency accommodation.
# Homelessness
Housing charity welcomes drop in families in emergency accommodation
The number of families in emergency accommodation is now at its lowest point since May 2017.

THE PETER MCVERRY Trust has said that the Covid-19 pandemic offers an “opportunity” to significantly reduce the number of homeless people, as the latest figures show that the number of homeless families in Dublin is at its lowest point in three years. 

Doyle said that was now an “an opportunity to really drive down the number of people in emergency accommodation”. 

“We need to take advantage of this opportunity and house as many single people, couples and families as we can because even with significant drops like this the numbers are still much too high,” he said. 

Figures released by Dublin City Council earlier today show that as of March there were 1,103 families in emergency accommodation in the city – the lowest number since May 2017. 

The council expects to see further decreases in April. 

Pat Doyle, the CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust, said that the “decline in the number of families in homelessness is not a huge surprise”.

“From early March we’d have begun to see an increase in the availability of housing units available to rent, these units had been used by the short term letting market for tourists and students, now they are going to people who need a long term home.”

“There are hundreds of extra units on the market many of which are benefitting people with a social housing need,” Doyle added. 

The figures released today show that 216 families entered emergency accommodation for the first time between January and March 2020, compared to 276 in 2019. 

In the same period, 350 families left emergency accommodation into a home – the comparative figure in 2019 was 237.

As of March, there were 540 families in hotels – the lowest level since 2016.

 ”Because of COVID-19 there are fewer families and people presenting to homeless services,” Doyle said.

“This is because they are trying to hold their accommodation and many of these will be staying with family and friends and are likely to be in overcrowded accommodation. The challenge now is to make sure we engage with that cohort so that they can secure a home from the place they are staying now.”

Housing charities had expressed concern at the start of the crisis about the potential danger of Covid-19 spreading through the homeless community – with extra beds and self-isolation units provided in Dublin in anticipation of a significant outbreak. 

  • Our colleagues at Noteworthy want to probe the cost and proliferation of emergency accommodation in hotels, hubs and B&Bs around the country. See how you can make this investigation happen here.


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