Wednesday 24 April 2019

Homeless figures heading towards 10,000 people in emergency accommodation

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the situation is 'very disappointing'

A homeless man sleeping on the streets of Dublin
A homeless man sleeping on the streets of Dublin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

HOMELESS figures for January paint a bleak picture of almost 10,000 people in emergency accommodation.

The figure of 9,987 marks a rise of 234 people nationally when compared with the last month of 2018.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has described the situation as “very disappointing”.

The Department of Housing report shows there were 6,363 adults requiring a bed in January and 3,624 children/dependants. When added together the figure is just 13 shy of the 10,000 landmark.

The report notes a decrease of three families in temporary accommodation, brining the number to the lowest point since January 2018.

There is a drop of 32 families accommodated in hotels in Dublin.

Some 97 families exited emergency accommodation to an independent tenancy in Dublin during January, while 96 families were also prevented from entering emergency accommodation in the same month. Mr Murphy said the situation remains “very difficult”.

He claimed some increase was expected last month as December usually sees a drop in homeless as people return to their families for Christmas.

“An increase in January was anticipated but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable,” the Minister said.

“That said, we are seeing some very positive movements when it comes to families in emergency accommodation.

“For two months now we have exited more families in to tenancies than have entered emergency accommodation. Families in emergency accommodation are at their lowest point for a year. If these movements can be sustained as trends in 2019 then we will make important inroads in to the crisis this year.”

Mr Murphy added that the solution to homelessness are often “complex and I am working closely with my cabinet colleagues to deliver solutions for those individuals who require further support to exit homelessness, in particular those with long term health needs”.

Depaul CEO Kerry Anthony commented on the figures this evening;

“It is disappointing to see the figures rise again and to see that there are almost 10,000 people experiencing homelessness and living in emergency accommodation. The rise in both adults and children is disappointing given that last month’s figures showed a decrease in the numbers.

“The numbers suggest we need to do more in our efforts to stop individuals and families entering emergency accommodation. That requires input and action from all agencies and departments and we must ensure we are doing everything in our power to bring the numbers down.”

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