As the nation emerges from lockdown the charity believes a new spike in homelessness must be avoided at all costs and prevention measures – such as a rent freeze and ban on evictions – must be extended to help alleviate the crisis in the short term.
Focus Ireland has worked very effectively with the State, local authorities and other NGOs to help the most vulnerable during Covid-19.
With a potential new government being announced next week Focus Ireland believes any future government must make housing and homelessness a priority as this was one of the key issues in the election campaign.
Last month Focus Ireland wrote to the leaders of all parties to call for the urgent development of a clear Roadmap for Housing & Homelessness to as the country emerges from Covid-19.
Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said:
“We believe Covid-19 is a crossroads in the fight against homelessness and we hope the new government will act with urgency to put in place a clear roadmap out of Covid-19 for homelessness if the Programme For Government is passed. People who are homeless who were accommodated during lockdown should not be expected to return to the streets or emergency accommodation and the election promise of building ‘more affordable homes’ must not be broken.”
”We are encouraged that a number issues we campaigned for, such as a referendum on the Right to Housing, are included in the new Programme and any new government can’t afford to let voters down as a majority clearly stated that housing and homelessness were the key issues in the last election. We are at a turning point which will determine the future of the homeless crisis not just for the coming months but for many years to come.”
For the month of May Focus Ireland along with its partners in local authorities have continued to move families and individual out of homelessness.
Mr. Dennigan added:
“During the Covid-19 emergency I am proud that our staff have continued to provide vital services to support thousands of people who are homeless right across the country. Since the lockdown began we have been trying to ensure that families are protected from the virus and from the stresses caused by the lockdown, and we have been helping them find a new home.”
Meanwhile, there are 2,787 children & 1,217 families homeless according to latest figures from the Department of Housing.
Media Contact: Roughan Mac Namara – 0868515117 or Conor Culkin 086 468 0442