As the number of people homeless rises to 8,014 Focus Ireland is deeply concerned with the rise in families who are homeless
Figures published today by the Department of Housing show that the total level of homelessness broke through the 8,000 threshold again, while the number of families that are homeless rose by 4 nationwide in June (928 in May rising to 932 in June), with 14 additional homeless families in Dublin.
Focus Ireland has called on the government to include a specific long-term plan to address family homelessness as part of its delayed ‘Housing For All’ strategy. This would address the particular challenges facing lone parents while helping to stop the flow of any families into homelessness.
Focus Ireland, Director of Advocacy, Mike Allen said: “The increase in family homelessness in June is a stark reminder of how precarious the progress in tackling homelessness really is. High rents are continuing to put families under pressure while they are also juggling the high cost of childcare during a global pandemic. Our services across the country show that many households are experiencing increased financial stress as we reopen the economy, which is leading to families being on the verge of homelessness.”
He added: “In the last year and a half we have seen great progress reducing the overall figures, but this was a result of an immediate response to the pandemic with welcome measures like the eviction rather than a long-term plan. We have to remember that, even with the recent progress, the number of families homeless remains four times the level it was in 2014, when the then Minister for Housing declared it an ‘emergency crisis’. The Government has decided not to continue many of the of the policies which cut family homelessness – such as greater protections against evictions – and the underlying causes of the problem has not been addressed, and must be in the Government’s Housing for All strategy.
In June, Ireland signed the Lisbon Declaration on the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness, which includes a commitment to addressing homelessness by 2030. Focus Ireland hopes that this commitment will form a central part of the Housing for All strategy to ultimately ending family homelessness.
The increases in homelessness fell most heavily on Dublin, with an increase in the number of homeless adults homeless rising by 15 to 4,069 and the number of families rising by 14 to break the 700 threshold again at 702, according to the latest figures from the Department of Housing. Outside the capital there are 412 homeless adults in Cork, 218 in Limerick and 62 in Waterford.
People can show their support for the #FocusOnFamilies campaign by contacting their local TDs on the issue through its campaign page http://bit.ly/Focusonfamilies.
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