Almost 3,000 children now homeless across State

In late July there were 2,973 children in 1,429 families using emergency accommodation

 

There are now almost 3,000 homeless children across the State, among a total homeless population of 8,160 according to the latest figures.

The data, published yesterday by the Department of Housing on the eve of a crisis summit with 31 local authority managers on how to tackle homelessness, shows during the week of July 24th to 30th there were 2,973 children, in 1,429 families, in emergency accommodation nationally. Of these families, 905, or 63 per cent, were headed by lone parents.

The figures represent an increase of 78 children compared with 2,895 in June, and of 64 families, compared with the 1,365 in June. These figures do not include families in domestic violence refuges.

The housing crises in the Dublin and eastern regions are driving the increases, with these regions having seen the most dramatic rise across all categories of adults and children during the summer, while there have been decreases in western regions.

In Dublin the number of homeless children increased by 153, from 2,270 in June to 2,423. The number of homeless families in the capital grew by 63, from 1,115 to 1,178 since June.

In the northeast, which takes in counties Louth, Monaghan and Cavan, the number of homeless children increased from 40 in 14 families, to 48 in 20 families.

In the southeast, taking in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford, the numbers increased from 34 children in 18 families in June to 41 in 24 families since July.

Western regions have all seen decreases in the numbers of homeless children and families, most dramatically in the northwest, taking in counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, where the fall was from 10 children in three families in June, to none.

Homeless single adults The number of homeless single adults with no children continues to rise, particularly in Dublin and the east. In July

, local authorities recorded 3,234 such homeless adults compared with 3,206 in June. In Dublin there were 1,942 homeless adults, up from 1,914 in June.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy is expected to announce up to 200 additional emergency beds for homeless adults in Dublin today as well as additional measures to prevent people becoming homeless.

Among those being considered is the extension of the “homeless HAP” – an increased rate of Homeless Assistance Payment available to homeless families to help them exit homelessness – to counties outside Dublin.

Focus Ireland director of advocacy Mike Allen described the latest homeless figures as “dreadful” and said they must be a “line in the sand”.

“They clearly show that the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland strategy is failing to get to grips with the escalating crisis.

“The time has now come for the Government to take the decisions it has shied away from for several years. This includes actively building social housing, taxing those who hoard building land, and protecting the rights of tenants facing eviction.”

Niamh Randall of the Simon Communities said: “It is essential there are tangible outcomes from [today’s] housing summit to ensure that more people are prevented from becoming homeless.”