Dublin council to acquire Nama hotel for homeless families

Central facility will house 70 families who are staying in 21 hotels across the capital

The details of the hotel to be taken over by Dublin City Council have not been released. Photograph: Getty

The details of the hotel to be taken over by Dublin City Council have not been released. Photograph: Getty

Wed, Jul 9, 2014, 01:00

Emergency places for homeless families in 21 hotels across Dublin are set to be transferred to a central facility after negotiations between Dublin City Council and Nama.

The council is to acquire a Nama-controlled hotel which will provide a minimum of 70 places for families living for months in hotels.

It is not yet known which hotel will be taken over by the council.

The new facility is being referred to by the council as a homeless “assessment centre” to “fast-track” families out of hotels and into long-term accommodation.

At the end of last month, 150 families with 311 children were living in hotels in the Dublin area. They were moved in as an emergency measure after contacting homeless services.

Crisis levels

The council said it acknowledges the use of hotels is not sustainable and represents the “least cost-effective emergency response measure” for dealing with homelessness.

“The use of commercial hotels at circa 21 different locations has also proved unviable in undertaking assessments of need and providing necessary support to families,” it said.

The council is short of at least €6 million this year needed to cope with the “crisis-level demand” for homeless emergency beds.

In its 2014 budget, it set aside €750,000 for hotel rooms, but it expects the bill to exceed €4 million for the year.

It has also committed to providing 80 more beds for rough sleepers by the end of September. This will cost about €2.5 million the council said it does not have. Council management intends to seek 90 per cent of the shortfall from central Government.