Families squeezed out of Cork seeking housing in Limerick, says charity

Threshold sets up new advice clinic in Limerick amid ‘huge issues in the private rented sector’

Marion Browne, manager, Limerick-North Munster Information Service CLG and Edel Conlon, regional services manager with Threshold, announcing details of the a new weekly advisory service for people facing housing difficulties in the city. Photograph: Keith Wiseman

Marion Browne, manager, Limerick-North Munster Information Service CLG and Edel Conlon, regional services manager with Threshold, announcing details of the a new weekly advisory service for people facing housing difficulties in the city. Photograph: Keith Wiseman

 

Homeless families in north Cork are traveling to Limerick in search of hotels and guesthouse accommodation due to a lack of available beds in their area, according to a senior manager with national housing charity Threshold.

The charity has expanded outreach services in Limerick to try to meet the growing demand, setting up a weekly clinic at the Citizens Information Services building on Henry Street.

Limerick is facing “huge issues in the private rented sector”, said Threshold’s southern regional manager Edel Conlon.

The charity “dealt with 175 cases in Limerick in the first five months of this year,” she said, adding “59 of those related to tenancy termination cases, so this is concerning”.

“We have unfortunately had to turn down a few requests to represent tenants in Limerick” due to demand, and “ideally we would like to have a (full-time) office here”.

The clinic, which is operating every Tuesday, provides advice to those entering homelessness or tenants trying to protect their rights.

Ms Conlon said there were “not enough places to meet the need” of families entering homelessness, and the problem was getting worse.

“There are people accommodated all around the Munster and the Limerick area, in hotels and B&Bs. I know in north Cork they are finding it very difficult to find hotels and B&Bs for families who have become homeless. Those families are actually even traveling to hotels in Limerick to be accommodated.”

Citing the recent experience of a homeless family in Cork who had to vacate their hotel room as it was booked to accommodate people attending a concert, Ms Conlon added: “This is the time of the year where there is a lot happening over the summer months, and unfortunately, families are going to be moving from one B&B to the next.”

Up to April 25th last, there were 2,589 people on Limerick City and County Council’s housing waiting list, according to the latest figures.

There were 46 families recorded as being homeless, including 86 children and 67 adults.

Six of these families (six adults and ten children) were sleeping in Suaimhneas family emergency accommodation units; 32 families (48 adults and 65 children) were sleeping in local hotels and guest houses; and eight families (13 adults and 11 children) were residing in the Twin Oaks family hub.

Separately there were 124 beds provided for adults across five Limerick homeless accommodation centres, and in B&Bs.