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Lowest number of families in emergency accommodation in Dublin for three years

The city council is hopeful that further decreases will follow.

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Some 350 families left emergency accommodation into tenancies in Dublin in the first quarter of 2020 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Some 350 families left emergency accommodation into tenancies in Dublin in the first quarter of 2020 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Some 350 families left emergency accommodation into tenancies in Dublin in the first quarter of 2020 (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Dublin has the lowest number of families in emergency accommodation in three years, new figures show.

There were 1,103 families in hotels and B&Bs in March, the lowest number since May 2017.

Dublin City Council says it expects to see a further decrease in April.

The figures show that 216 families went into emergency accommodation for the first time between January and March 2020, compared to 276 in 2019 and 293 in 2018.

In the period January to March 2020, 350 families left emergency accommodation into tenancies.

The figure was 237 for the same period in 2019 and 177 in 2018.

The number of families living in hotels in was the lowest since early 2016.

There were 540 families in hotel accommodation at the end of March 2020. At its peak in March 2017, the figure was 871 while the number of families in hotels will be reduced further in April 2020.

At the beginning of the pandemic, up to 350 hotel rooms and living spaces were made available to Dublin’s homeless services.

Dublin City Council deputy chief executive Brendan Kenny said the reduction in family homelessness results mainly from a gradual decrease in new presentations over recent months and a continuing increase in exits into tenancies.

“The increased level of housing supply in the latter months of 2019 and early months of 2020 has made a difference,” he added.

“The recruitment of 15 new family support officers by the DRHE/DCC and their assignment to work intensively with families residing in emergency accommodation on their exit into tenancies has also had a very positive impact.”

With the big change in the property market we expect now to be able to source a significant number of self-contained apartments as an alternative to hotels that will provide much more suitable accommodation and represent much better value for moneyCouncil chief executive Brendan Kenny

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there have been indications the number of rental properties on the market has increased.

Mr Kenny said he is hoping it will lead to a greater number of long-term leased or acquired homes that will serve as permanent social housing.

“It has had no real impact yet on exits of families from emergency accommodation,” he added.

“With the big change in the property market we expect now to be able to source a significant number of self-contained apartments as an alternative to hotels that will provide much more suitable accommodation and represent much better value for money.

“While it welcomes the decrease in the number of families in emergency accommodation, Dublin City Council acknowledges that the figures are still far too high and promises that there will be no let-up in its collective efforts on this issue.

PA