Monday 23 October 2017

Almost 400 families in Dublin have been living in emergency accommodation for more than one year - new figures

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Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Almost 400 families in Dublin have been living in emergency accommodation for more than a year.

New figures due to be discussed at a meeting of the Dublin City Council Housing Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) on Friday show that there are currently 398 families living in emergency accommodation for 12 months or more.

This accounts for 39.5pc of all homeless families in the capital. According to the latest report there are 1,007 families living in emergency accommodation, including 2,046 children.

The vast majority of these children (1,551) are living in hotels, while the rest are living in B&Bs and other types of emergency accommodation.

Just shy of €40m was spent on hotels to accommodate homeless people in 2016. A total of 190 hotels were used by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive which co-ordinates homeless services for Dublin city and county.

Sinn Fein councillor Daithi Doolan, who chairs the Housing SPC, said the number of families stuck in emergency accommodation for more than one year was "unacceptable".

"This is unacceptable. Minister for Housing has claimed there will not be any families in hotel accommodation by July this year," Cllr Doolan said.

"I wished no families had to be homeless or in emergency accommodation ever but to expect hotels to be empty within three months is totally unrealistic.

"Dublin City Council simply do not have the housing to meet the needs of these families. I am concerned families will be forced back into private accommodation, which has become a gateway to homelessness."

Minister Simon Coveney has pledged to tackle the homelessness crisis and move people out of hotels by mid-2017 and in January he defended the timeline, stating that the Government was "ahead of schedule" when it came to the Rebuilding Ireland plan. 

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