Wednesday 23 October 2019

County Council spend almost €350k on emergency accommodation

Simon Bourke

Wexford County Council spent €345,545 on emergency accommodation for those who have found themselves homeless in the county during the first eight months of this year.

The bulk of this money went towards providing hotels and bed and breakfasts for those presenting themselves as homeless at one of the council's offices throughout the county. It comes on top of the €615,920 the council spent on providing emergency accomodation last year.

Although unlikely to match last year's total these figure are significantly higher than the €16,911 spent on emergency accommodation as a recently as 2013.

North Wexford Councillor Malcolm Byrne, who revealed the figures, described them as 'shocking', saying, 'This is a significant expenditure by Wexford County Council, but behind it are the individuals and families who find themselves without a roof over their heads.

'The housing crisis is as acute as ever. While some people are not in emergency accommodation, they are in overcrowded conditions or couchsurfing. It is becoming impossible in parts of the county to find affordable places to rent.'

And the Cathaoirleach of the Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal District criticised those in government for failing to appreciate the extent of Wexford's homelessness issue.

'We need to get building more social housing and more affordable housing,' said the councillor. 'There is a need to be radical. The Government just doesn't get the scale of the crisis but given that Fine Gael in Wexford has stated that there is no homelessness in the county, it is clear that they are completely out of touch with what is happening on the ground.'

Gorey Guardian