Wednesday 20 September 2017

'Lack of vision' fuels homelessness

Cathal Morgan, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, estimated that between 100 and 150 people are still sleeping rough in Dublin
Cathal Morgan, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, estimated that between 100 and 150 people are still sleeping rough in Dublin
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

The Government lacks a coherent, long-term vision, to deal with the escalating homelessness crisis, despite the provision of extra emergency accommodation beds this winter.

The Dublin Simon Community says while the initiative on additional beds is welcome, it will simply feed into the "bottleneck of emergency bed provision."

Some 195 new extra emergency accommodation beds have been confirmed for Dublin as part of the Cold Weather Initiative.

A total of 55 units are also being made available for families and couples in the Dublin region.

"Following the tragic death of Jonathon Corrie on our streets last December, the Government responded with 271 emergency beds," said Sam McGuinness, Simon's chief executive.

"These short-term beds have become long-term, and have since been absorbed into the emergency system."

He warned that without prevention initiatives - such as the provision of adequate rent certainty measures, and an increase in rent supplement - nothing will curtail the rising flow of people into homelessness.

He said rent supplement limits are simply too low, as rents continue to soar in Dublin, and the number of homes available to rent decreases.

Meanwhile, Pat Doyle of the Peter McVerry Trust said the Government's failure to stem the flow of people into homelessness is undermining the "frontline efforts" that are taking place to tackle the emergency.

Cathal Morgan, director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, insisted the extra emergency accommodation should ensure that no one is homeless this winter.

Between 100 and 150 people are still sleeping rough in Dublin, he added.

Irish Independent

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