Sunday 10 December 2017

No homeless families will be living in hotel rooms by July - DRHE director

Situation where homeless families stayed in garda stations was "exceptional"

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

No homeless families will be living in hotel rooms by the month of July, according to Dublin Regional Homeless Executive director Eileen Gleeson.

Speaking on RTE Radio 1 Drivetime, Ms Gleeson said that the deadline introduced by Housing Minister Simon Coveney in the plan for 'Rebuilding Ireland' will be met.

"The number of families that were homeless in 2014 were very low in comparison to the number of families that are homeless now," she said.

"We needed a plan to find alternative and appropriate accommodation for them because we simply didn't have it. The timetable put into this plan is the timetable we're working towards."

"We will meet the deadline," she added.

Ms Gleeson said there were over 600 families in the hotel system at the end of April but has nine family hubs in planning "that will open over the coming weeks and months" that will cater for in the region of 240 families.

"Family hubs are not just hotels by another name because they have additional facilities in them and they are more appropriate for families where they can do their laundry, cook meals if they want to and do homework in relevant facilituies," she said.

"There are also key workers that will help them to get back out of homelessness."

Ms Gleeson responded to criticism of the hubs from Focus Ireland's Mike Allen who said they "expensive and not the way forward".

"They may be expensive but they are not unproductive. The key point here is that they are not for long term accommodation," she said.

"They are for emergency accommodation and they are far superior to the current hotel accommodation that we're placing families in."

A Dublin couple with two young children were among dozens of families forced to seek refuge at a garda station due to the lack of emergency accommodation on Tuesday night.

After making hundreds of phone calls to secure emergency shelter at hotels and B&Bs, the young family from Finglas was even turned away from spending the night in a garda cell.

Ms Gleeson said the situation where homeless families stayed in garda stations on Tuesday night was "exceptional".

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News