Belfast Telegraph

Number of Irish homeless up by 117 in October

The figures included 1,733 families.

A woman walks past a mural in Dublin’s city centre (PA)
A woman walks past a mural in Dublin’s city centre (PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

The number of people in emergency accommodation increased by more than 100 in October.

There was a total of 10,514 people living in emergency accommodation across Ireland, according to government’s monthly report, made up of 6,688 adults and 3,826 children. The figures included 1,733 families.

This represents an overall increase of 117 in the numbers from the September report.

The government say the increase in adults “was expected following the introduction of additional emergency beds recently”.

The government do not count rough sleepers in their official figures, meaning the addition of new beds has increased the number of people being counted, moving them from the street or other accommodation means not counted by the government, into official statistics.

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A homeless man attends the demonstration in Dublin (PA)

The government’s homeless figures have been widely criticised as they also do not include those granted asylum but continuing to live in direct provision, nore people living in women’s refuges.

Some campaigners and opposition politicians have put the number as high as 13,000.

The government also published their Homeless Quarterly Progress Report on Tuesday, which noted the number of families presenting to homeless services in the Dublin region decreased in October to 158, compared with 169 in September.

There were 213 fewer families presenting to homeless services in the Dublin region in the first nine months of the year, in comparison with 2018.

The figures were produced just hours before embattled Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy survived a vote of no confidence in the Dail by 56 votes to 53, with 35 abstentions.

Despite the number of homeless people continuing to rise, Mr Murphy said it was proof his plan was working.

The minister has completely disassociated himself from the reality of the seriousness of the crisis Anthony Flynn on Eoghan Murphy

“Rebuilding Ireland continues to put in place supports to help people out of homelessness,” he said.

“Today we see that those sleeping rough is at its lowest level since 2015 and the lowest since Rebuilding Ireland began.

“The latest report shows a continued increase in the number of exits from homelessness.

“The number of people in emergency accommodation is unacceptably high and we must continue to implement every necessary support, whilst also driving the continuing increase in the supply of new homes.”

Founder of Inner City Helping Homeless and city councillor Anthony Flynn said the figures were “long overdue”.

“The situation is completely out of control, we have a minister who is clearly sailing a sinking ship and he cannot seem to plug the holes,” he said.

“We will have nearly 4,000 children spending Christmas in hotels and B&Bs.

“Minister Murphy and the government have let all of these children down and their reluctance to build public housing is preventing families having homes of their own.

“The minister has completely disassociated himself from the reality of the seriousness of the crisis.”

PA

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