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Deputy Pa Daly criticises Taoiseach in Dáil as 91 adults and 14 children now homeless in Kerry

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

kerryman

Sinn Féin Deputy Pa Daly said that 91 adults and 14 children are currently homeless in the county.

Speaking during a Dáil debate on Tuesday, Deputy Daly asked Taoiseach Micheál Martin to report on the progress of its ‘well-being framework’ for Ireland initiative overseen by his Department.

The well-being framework is used as a means of assessing the country’s well-being and is considered a method for exploring the Government’s options on how to improve and understand the quality of life for its citizens.

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But Deputy Daly criticised the Taoiseach, citing the chronic shortage of homeless accommodation in Kerry as evidence of blatant shortcomings in the well-being framework’s objectives.

The Taoiseach said a second report on the well-being framework was published earlier this month that would help inform policymakers in order to take ‘a rounded view’ based on evidence of what determines quality of life, beyond just economic growth.

However, Deputy Daly said Kerry County Council’s (KCC) homeless service is already overwhelmed and had effectively run out of available homeless accommodation.

He claims that KCC’s own accommodation is now full and that the use of bed-and-breakfast accommodation, hostels, and hotels are also ‘maxed out’ across the county.

“There are more than 2,000 qualified applicants on the housing list [in Kerry]. The market has tightened recently, and some providers have been lost to it,” Deputy Daly said.

“More and more families, however, are being issued with notices to quit and the ending of the eviction ban has had severe consequences. Will the Taoiseach intervene and do something?” Deputy Daly asked.

Kerry County Council (KCC) confirmed that 91 adults and 14 children are currently homeless, down from 2019 when the figure was 172 adults and a peak of 95 children.

KCC say significant progress has been made in Kerry and it continues to manage ‘a relatively stable programme’ albeit at a high level with greater challenges and risks.

It points to the fact the current operating environment for the delivery of emergency accommodation services, including homeless services, is extremely challenging and reflects the housing market generally.

“Available rental properties are extremely limited. There has been an increase in people engaging with emergency accommodation/homeless services and an increase in people facing notices to quit and likely transition to needing emergency interventions,” said a KCC spokesperson.

“The large intake in Kerry within the refugee programme has further impacted accommodation availability on the market conditions, generally. Some emergency accommodation availability has been lost to the refugee programme.”

KCC stated that the figures referenced by Deputy Daly are point-in-time figures and do not reflect fully the activity level or exits from homeless accommodation and new/repeated entry to homeless services. KCC occasionally operates as part of a multi-agency approach and the involvement of other state agencies in the provision of wrap-around services extends beyond KCC’s role in accommodation provision.


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