Sunday 25 February 2018

Homeless families in Dublin double in the past month

The number of people sleeping on the streets of Dublin has risen
The number of people sleeping on the streets of Dublin has risen

Wayne O’Connor

THE number of new homeless families has more than doubled in Dublin in the past month compared to the same period last year.

An extra 134 families and 269 children were made homeless in the capital in January, an increase of 78 compared to the same month last year.

Nine of these families became homeless last month for at least the second time.

It means that there are now 769 homeless families in the capital.

A total of 41 families became homeless during December and over Christmas.

The Peter McVerry Trust is fearful that the increases could be a sign of a worrying trend while Focus Ireland said ending the homeless crisis must be a top priority for the next government.

The Dublin Simon Community said that unaffordable rents have a huge role to play in the crisis.

Peter McVerry Trust CEO Pat Doyle called for the next Taoiseach to intervene after the General Election and prioritise the issue.

“We really hope that this figure is a post Christmas spike and will not be a trend repeated for the rest of the year.

“If this figure of 125 new cases is repeated or even exceeded on a monthly basis throughout the year the consequences would be enormous.

“Once the next Government is formed we need to see a high level response led by the next Taoiseach to dealing with the homeless emergency we need all relevant Government departments working with frontline agencies to tackle the issue.”

Dublin Simon Community’s Sam McGuinness said the government needs to move away from emergency response measures.

“As rents remain unaffordable and as the gap between rent supplement and market rents continues to widen, more and more children, families and individuals will be pushed into homelessness.

“If we look at January 2015, this is a 114pc increase. Many of these families are accessing hotel rooms with no facilities to cook or clean and often just a bed to share. This is totally unacceptable and the longer these increases continue the more detrimental the impact will be on their lives in the long term.”

Online Editors

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