File photo of a rough sleeper in Dublin. Leon Farrell/
the refund project

Getting a water charges refund? These charities want you to donate it to help tackle homelessness

Three of Ireland’s leading homelessness charities have called on the public to donate their refunds.

THREE OF IRELAND’S leading homelessness charities have started a campaign aimed at getting people to donate their water charges refunds towards tackling homelessness in Ireland.

Refunds totalling €173 million will be paid to 990,000 Irish Water customers before the end of the year.

The legislation to enable the refunding of water charges is progressing through the Oireachtas and is expected to be approved shortly.

In the meantime, the utility has launched a refunds page on its website for those who paid the charges and are due money back.

Focusing on the refunds, three of Ireland’s leading charities – Focus Ireland, Simon Community and the Peter McVerry Trust – have asked people to consider donating the money they received to go towards tackling Ireland’s homelessness crisis.

Latest figures for September show that there were 8,374 people homeless and living in state-funded emergency accommodation in Ireland in September. Of these, 5,250 were adults and 3,124 were children.

Child homelessness has quadrupled in three years and adult homelessness has more than doubled.

The charities in question have formed an oversight group in order to spearhead the initiative – chaired by former head of the Workplace Relations Commission Kieran Mulvey.

“We know that almost one million people are in line for Irish Water refunds and we believe that some would be open to donating their money to such an important initiative,” said Mulvey.

“There will be one million refunds and a total of €173 million being handed back – that could be of enormous assistance to over 8000 people who are currently homeless in this country.

This initiative could create a lasting and more positive outcome to the negative legacy of the recession years and provide that most fundamental of rights – a home.

Read: Guns, drunken melees, and pest infestations – living in emergency accommodation in Dublin is no joke

Read: In Ireland, another 76 children became homeless just in time for the new school year

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