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Monday 19 August 2019

Homelessness stays above 10,000 for a fourth month

 

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Collins
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Collins
Sorcha O'Connor

Sorcha O'Connor

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy faces renewed pressure as homelessness numbers remained over 10,000 for a fourth consecutive month, including almost 4,000 children.

A total of 10,253 people accessed emergency accommodation in the month of May, a slight decrease when compared with April.

There was a total of 6,504 adults and 3,749 children experiencing homelessness in Ireland last month, with 1,700 families affected.

A number of charities warned that more effort was needed to reduce homeless numbers.

The Simon Community said it welcomed the drop in numbers but believed it was not a significant enough decrease.

Inner City Helping Homeless CEO Anthony Flynn said: "While the reduction in the number of people that are homeless is welcomed, it is now time that the Taoiseach considers the minister's position."

Fianna Fáil spokesperson Darragh O'Brien said that homeless levels exceeding 10,000 for a fourth month was "startling".

"We should not lose sight of the damage this failure is inflicting upon thousands of children. This is a disgraceful situation and a scar on our society," he said.

Fine Gael must "change tack" in dealing with the homelessness crisis, according to Labour spokesperson for housing and TD Jan O'Sullivan.

Ms O'Sullivan said the high number of children who would be living in hotels during the summer holidays was a "damning indictment" of Fine Gael's housing plan.

Homelessness charity Depaul said there was no room for complacency with the modest decrease.

"The slight decrease in the homeless figures is welcome, however we must remember we are coming from a place where we have seen the highest figures ever recorded," said CEO Kerry Anthony. "We have been here before where figures have gone down only to go up again dramatically."

Irish Independent

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