Sunday 20 October 2019

Housing charity launches urgent fundraising appeal amid growing concerns of increasing family homelessness

Threshoold has launched an urgent fundraising campaign in response to the newly released government statistics which show a further rise in the rate of family homelessness in Ireland. Pictured are Saoirse Jacoby, Fundraising Executive and John-Mark McCafferty, CEO, Threshold. Picture Jason Clarke
Threshoold has launched an urgent fundraising campaign in response to the newly released government statistics which show a further rise in the rate of family homelessness in Ireland. Pictured are Saoirse Jacoby, Fundraising Executive and John-Mark McCafferty, CEO, Threshold. Picture Jason Clarke

Gabija Gataveckaite

National housing charity Threshold is appealing for funds ahead of next week's Budget amid growing concerns of increasing family homelessness during the winter.

The appeal also comes as a response to Government figures released yesterday that show more families have become homeless in recent months.

Figures released by the Department of Housing yesterday showed that 10,338 people were in emergency accommodation in Ireland in August, including 6,490 adults and 3,848 children.

READ MORE: 70 more children homeless, government figures show

The charity fears that these numbers will steadily rise over the coming colder winter months.

"Our staff help tenants challenge invalid notices of termination or rent reviews; take discrimination cases to the Workplace Relations Commission; challenge illegal evictions and represent tenants at the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)," said CEO of Threshold, John-Mark McCafferty.

“This keeps thousands of families in their homes.  In 2018, through our Tenancy Protection Service we kept 5,161 households in their homes, thus preventing 7,111 adults and 4,451 children from becoming homeless in the first place."

READ MORE: Mother and seven children saved from home repossession

According to the charity, the number of families homeless is rising.

“But family homelessness is getting worse, we urgently need more money to fund homelessness prevention nationwide and we are appealing to the public to support us to prevent this crisis from worsening in the coming months," he added.

Threshold hopes that additional funds will help to keep families in their homes at the nightly cost of €1.20 per household.

“The average cost of emergency accommodation provision is €100 a night per household," said Mr McCaffrey.

READ MORE: Vet teams up with Peter McVerry to give free vaccinations and check ups to homeless people's dogs

"But Threshold’s prevention services cost an average of €1.20 to keep a similar household in their home. So the cost of homeless prevention is only 1.2pc of the cost of homeless accommodation.”

The charity launched their 'Help Keep the Wolf from the Door' campaign this morning.

"The concept of the wolf at the door is a metaphor for the three main threats faced by those at risk of homelessness: rising rents, lack of security of tenure and the absence of alternative accommodation for those losing their homes," said Mr McCafferty.

"These are the dangers our services help prevent, but we badly need additional funding,” he added.

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