Focus Ireland calls for Government strategy for homeless families

Lone parents, migrants and Travellers most at risk for family homelessness – report

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

The director of advocacy at homeless charity Focus Ireland has called on the Government to introduce a specific strategy for assisting homeless families.

Mike Allen was commenting following the release of a new report by the charity that found that lone parents, migrants and members of the Travelling community face a disproportionate risk of family homelessness.

For a majority of families, the root cause of their homelessness was having to leave private rented accommodation. The most commonly cited reason was landlords withdrawing their property from the market.

Mr Allen told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland on Thursday that three quarters of the families who responded to the detailed survey had lengthy and successful tenancies.

He said the survey was conducted among families residing in emergency accommodation in Dublin and involved participants answering detailed interviews.

The report also found that three quarters of the families were actively looking for rental properties, some had looked at more than 20 properties and were “desperately looking at places”.

Mr Allen said people from outside Ireland were disproportionately represented in the homeless figures, with 56 per cent of those who participated in the survey from outside Ireland.

“These are people who have been in Ireland a long time, they have worked and lived here for years, and were in the private rental sector until this crisis hit them,” he said.