Wednesday 20 September 2017

Families homeless as council beds full again

Brian Byrne

HOMELESS accommodation for families has run out again, despite a pre-Christmas summit aimed at ending the problem.

Dublin City Council confirmed that up to 20 families had left private rented accommodation and were in danger of sleeping rough last night.

The authority also said that the 1,762 beds made available by Dublin's four local authorities had been filled, including the 271 additional beds which came on stream in December.

A spokeswoman said authorities cannot guarantee accommodation on the day a family presents as homeless.

However, she added: "(We) do everything possible to ensure that a family are not in position where they are sleeping rough.

"There have not been any confirmed families sleeping rough on the street in contact with DCC Central Placement Service."

Local authorities endeavour to organise temporary accommodation for families which have nowhere to live.

The spokeswoman added that the number of beds available, and the numbers of families presenting as homeless, changes on a daily basis.

An emergency summit was held following the death of homeless man Jonathan Corrie near Leinster House on December 1.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly had pledged that a bed would be provided for every homeless person in Dublin, should they accept it, by Christmas.

Committed

Responding to the latest capacity issue, a spokesman from Mr Kelly's office said: "Minister Kelly and Junior Minister Paudie Coffey are committed to continuing to prioritise the tackling of homelessness throughout 2015.

"The minister has directed the Dublin housing authorities to prioritise homeless households and other vulnerable groups, which will see at least 50pc of the dwellings available for allocation over a six-month period allocated to such households.

"The minister expects that this intervention alone will deliver approximately 500 homes for such households."

Independent TD for Dublin Bay North Tommy Broughan said the situation was "simply not good enough".

"People are sleeping in their cars, sleeping on couches and reaching out to family. What about families being evicted due to rapidly escalating rents and what about the family homes that are already overcrowded because of unaffordable rents?"

Irish Independent

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