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Friday 23 February 2018

7,000 to spend Christmas in emergency shelter, warns Simon charity

Niamh Randall, spokesperson for the Simon Communities Photo: Jason Clarke
Niamh Randall, spokesperson for the Simon Communities Photo: Jason Clarke

Gavin White

Nearly 7,000 people will spend Christmas in emergency accommodation across the country, according to the Simon Communities.

Niamh Randall, spokesperson for the homelessness charity, said most of these people would be feeling "hopeless and forgotten".

In its annual report, released yesterday, Simon said there had been a 26pc increase in the number of people using their services over a two-year period.

A total of 1,030 people accessed emergency accommodation through Simon, according to the report.

In addition, the charity supported close to 8,300 people experiencing homelessness across the country.

Ms Randall told the Irish Independent the homeless crisis had escalated.

She said the charity would like to have seen proposed rent caps linked to the Consumer Price Index.

Ms Randall said that the Government's action plan for housing "now needs to focus on the implementation of that plan".

Meanwhile, Housing Minister Simon Coveney said yesterday that the Government had spent €203m in 2016 acquiring more than 1,000 properties.

A spokesperson for the Department of Housing said it was confident the estimated 2,700 families making the transition from emergency to permanent accommodation would be "met if not exceeded" this year.

Irish Independent

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