| 11.1°C Dublin

Hotels paid €47m to house city's growing homeless population

Close

A rough sleeper outside Dublin’s Custom House. Photo: Brian Lawless

A rough sleeper outside Dublin’s Custom House. Photo: Brian Lawless

A rough sleeper outside Dublin’s Custom House. Photo: Brian Lawless

A Dublin hotel was paid up to €5m last year by the city council to accommodate homeless people.

New figures released under the Freedom of Information Act showed another city hotel received up to €3m.

Close

Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

Neither hotel was named by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE).

The data showed 11 other hotels each received between €1m and €2m, and 13 more each received between €500,000 and €1m.

More than 120 hotels and B&Bs each received up to €500,000.

The total paid to hotels last year by the city council was €46.93m, up 20.5pc on the €38.94m paid in 2016.

In addition, the council paid €12.3m to hostels and B&Bs.

Children

Despite an earlier commitment by Tanaiste and former Housing Minister Simon Coveney that the use of hotels to house the homeless would end in July last year, the number of hotels accommodating homeless people increased in 2017.

In January last year, 66 Dublin hotels were used to house the homeless. By December, that figure had risen to 70.

The number of homeless families living in emergency accommodation in the city increased from 1,028 at the end of 2016 to 1,121 at the end of last year. That included an increase in the number of children - from 2,096 to 2,385.

The number of homeless families in emergency accommodation in the capital last month increased to 1,329, including 2,801 children.

The newly-released figures showed that the Government spent €8.75m last year on family hubs.

These group-style homeless shelters for families have been rolled out over the past 16 months to reduce the numbers staying for long periods in hotels.

In an RTE radio interview this week, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said: "Hotels are not an appropriate place for families."

"We have far many more hub places coming to get families out of hotels.

"More than 2,000 families were taken out of hotels last year, which is a huge amount of work done."

A detailed breakdown of the hub spend showed that €1.5m has been paid to Focus Onsite Support for the largest family hub, at the Townhouse in Dublin's Gardiner Street.

Focus Onsite Support received €4.92m for the operation of five hubs at the Bram Stoker Hotel, Clontarf; the Sunnybank Hotel, Glasnevin; the Viking Lodge Hotel, Francis Street; the Abberly Court Hotel, Tallaght; and the Townhouse.

The city council last year spent €97.5m on emergency accommodation.

Much of the money went to non-profit organisations such as the Peter McVerry Trust, Dublin Simon, Focus Ireland, Crosscare and the De Paul Trust.


Privacy