Saturday 29 April 2017

The homelessness crisis needs action now, not next year

The decision by An Tánaiste [Joan Burton] and the Department of Social Protection to leave rent supplement limits unchanged needs to be reversed
The decision by An Tánaiste [Joan Burton] and the Department of Social Protection to leave rent supplement limits unchanged needs to be reversed

Niamh Randall

Imagine having nowhere safe, warm and dry to sleep at night. Imagine living with your whole family in one hotel room with nowhere to cook, play and do your homework. Imagine sleeping on the couches and floors of friends and family, moving from week to week, not knowing where you will end up and where this crisis will lead. This is the reality facing thousands of people, families and children across Ireland every day.

No fewer than 3,285 people, 657 families and 1,383 children are stuck in emergency accommodation. There are 90,000 people on the social housing waiting list. Meanwhile, we are seeing the impact of rising rents and reduced housing supply every day - people on low incomes and those in receipt of rent supplement can no longer afford rental payments and are being pushed over the edge into homelessness.

The Simon Communities in Ireland work with over 6,000 people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness each year. We are working to improve the prospects for people trapped in this situation.

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