Focus Ireland Launches Targeted Campaign to Help Prevent Family Homelessness in Dublin 15
Focus Ireland has launched a new campaign to help prevent more families from becoming homeless in the Dublin 15 area. The housing and homelessness charity launched the campaign this week with a series of outdoor ads – kindly sponsored by Bord Gáis Energy– calling on families who are struggling to pay their rent to contact Focus Ireland for help.
The new campaign is a pilot programme which is aimed at the Dublin 15 area as previous research by Focus Ireland found that a large number of families who were losing their rented accommodation and becoming homeless were from this area.
Focus Ireland is working in partnership with Blanchardstown Intreo Office of the Department of Social Protection which will issue a letter on behalf of the charity to all families in receipt of rent supplement in the Dublin 15 area to urge them to seek support if they are worried about losing their homes. The letter asks people who are worried about losing their homes to: FREEPHONE: 1800 819 370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible or free text KEEP to 50100 and Focus Ireland’s Dublin 15 staff will call them back.
Focus Ireland Manager Kieran Vulker said: “Focus Ireland will provide a targeted advice and information service by telephone, email and face to face meetings to ensure that every possible step is taken to keep families in their homes. We urge people who are worried about paying their rent and who are in receipt of rent supplement to contact us as the sooner they do, the sooner we can try to help them. It is possible for families who are struggling to afford the rent to get an increase in their rent supplement from the Department of Social Protection to make sure that they do not lose their homes and become homeless but many do not know about this so we would urge people to get in touch.”
Previous Focus Ireland research into the experiences of children residing in emergency accommodation found that out of 636 children who were homeless at the beginning of November 2015, almost 20% had lived in the Dublin 15 area before becoming homeless. This is an area which has a very high proportion of rental properties. Figures from the Blanchardstown Area Partnership show that 43% of people rent from private landlords and that significant numbers are in receipt of rent supplement.
Meanwhile, figures issued by Focus Ireland last month reported that 74 families became newly homeless in Dublin in April and were referred to its family services. These latest figures mean that 366 families and 731 children have become homeless in the first four months of this year in the capital alone.
Mr. Vulker added: “It is important to highlight that the situation would in fact be much worse without the work Focus Ireland does in helping families to move out of homelessness into secure housing with the support of the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive.
Focus Ireland helps one family a day to secure a home and escape from homelessness with the support of the DRHE and Local Authorities in Dublin. However, at the same time three families become homeless every day. This is why this new campaign is so timely and we hope it will help to keep more families in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless.
Media Enquiries to Roughan Mac Namara 086 851 5117