Charity's anger as 2,505 children were homeless over Christmas
Some 2,505 children were homeless last Christmas, new figures reveal - causing a charity to question the Government's housing plan.
The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has raised concerns about families who lack cooking facilities as well as areas to play. From July to December last year, 157 more children were in emergency accommodation, an increase of almost 7pc.
"The Government made a commitment within the Rebuilding Ireland plan to end the practice of using hotels, hostels and B&Bs for emergency accommodation for children. However, the ISPCC has seen little progress on this issue as we approach the deadline of mid-2017," said chief executive officer Grainia Long.
The Department of Housing defended the initiative, saying it anticipated that 2,700 people were rescued from homelessness in 2016, compared with 2,300 the previous year.
Meanwhile, Simon Communities warned that the overwhelming majority of rental properties on the market were beyond the reach of people on State housing benefits. A survey of 112 rental properties in November found only 17pc were in line with State Rental Supplement and Housing Assistance payments.