Focus Ireland says the shocking record total of 9,846 people homeless shows the govt must do more to end the deepening crisis

Figures show a shocking 38% increase in the number of children homeless in a year, 2,777 to 3,826 children from May 2017 to May 2018.

Focus Ireland said that the new figures issued today represent another shocking rise, with a record total of 9,846 people homeless in May. While there is welcome progress in some areas, the Government is still failing to do enough to ease the crisis.  The figures from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government reveal that 3,826 of the total number homeless are children (in 1,724 families).

In the year, May 2017 to May 2018 family homelessness has risen by 31% across Ireland from 1,312 families homeless in May 2017 to 1,724 in May 2018.The numbers of children in homeless accommodation was 3,826 at the end of May up from 2,777 in May 2017. That’s a 38% increase.

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said:

“What is driving these figures upwards is that the number of people becoming newly homeless is continuing to rise.

Over the last few months there has been a noticeable decline in the number of private rented/HAP properties on the market and in the number of social houses available. As a result people are finding it increasingly difficult to move out of homelessness. Although there are some signs that the rate of house building is beginning to pick up, these latest figures are a timely reminder that, the increase is still far too slow, and the crisis continues to deepen.”

Focus Ireland expressed significant alarm at the rise in families newly entering homelessness Focus Ireland figures for the numbers of families who became newly homeless each month in Dublin showed a 24% increase in the first five months of 2018 when compared with the same period in 2017.  In total 462 families became newly homeless in Dublin in the first five months of the year. Focus Ireland is the lead agency supporting these families through its family team services funded by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive.

In light of these shocking figures, Focus Ireland is calling on the Government to take action on three fronts.

  • To significantly increase the amount of housing which is being built by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies. This will involve using the publicly owned landbanks available which are sufficient to build 30,000 homes in the place where they are needed.
  • Introduce measures to prevent buy-to-let landlord from evicting tenants in order to sell up or move in family members
  • Revisit proposals to make the thousands of vacant properties around the country available. It is clear that the current set of incentives has failed to open up this essential resource, and the Government must now move to penalise people who are leaving homes vacant for no good reason

Mr. Dennigan concluded:

“I would still always highlight that here is much good work being done by the State, Local authorities and NGO’s such as Focus Ireland and without this the current crisis would be so much worse.  But more needs to be done to keep people in their homes and prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place.  The Government needs to move from managing rising homelessness towards ending it and must take the decisions required to do this.”

The latest figures can always be found here.

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