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Thursday 8 December 2016

Number of homeless families in Dublin soars by over a third

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 21/06/2016 | 18:46

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Homeless family numbers have increased yet again in Dublin with more than 1,800 children now living in temporary accommodation in the city.

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New figures released by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive revealed there are now 913 families with 1,847 children in accommodation for the homeless.

The latest figures released yesterday refer to the week ending May 29.

Nationwide, there were 1,054 families, including 2,177 children, who were in homeless accommodation during the same week.

Depaul, a charity focusing on aid for homeless people, urged a strong and coordinated approach to stem the flow of families into emergency accommodation and provide move-on options for families.

The number of families who are homeless in Dublin has increased by 34pc since last December, when there were 683 families including 939 adults and 1,409 children who were in homeless accommodation in the week ending December 27.

“On a daily basis in our services we are seeing more and more families who are facing the devastation of homelessness,” said Ms Kerry Anthony, chief executive officer of Depaul.

“Over the past two years these numbers have gone up and up every single month.

“In May 2015, the number of children who were homeless in Dublin surpassed the 1,000 mark and Depaul, along with other homeless charities, were urging action in the face of this crisis.

“One year on, there are 800 additional children who have no place to call home in Dublin,” she said.

“It is time that we confront this situation as the emergency that it is and put in place immediate and long-term solutions to reverse this damaging trend.

“We urge that the recommendations included in the report from the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness be delivered as a priority,” she said.

The committee has recommended local councils  nationwide provide 10,000 new social housing units each year for the next five years.

“It is absolutely critical that we increase the housing stock in Dublin by supplying the recommended 50,000 additional housing units over the next five years,” said Ms  Anthony.

“We must also implement the recommendations contained in the report to safeguard families at risk of homelessness due to home repossession or eviction from private rented accommodation.

“We must raise rent supplement and HAP levels and increase rent certainty measures and tenure security as a priority...every child has a right to a place to call home,” she said.

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