Hotels benefit from €40m windfall to shelter homeless

Annual cost of housing one family in a hotel tops €55,000 – over €150 per night

A monthly average of almost 700 homeless families were living in commercial hotels last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A monthly average of almost 700 homeless families were living in commercial hotels last year. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

A Dublin hotel received payments of between €4 million and €5 million last year for accommodating homeless people. The hotel, which is not named in information provided by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE), received the highest sum out of the €38.9 million paid to hoteliers by Dublin City Council to accommodate the homeless last year.

The amount spent accommodating homeless people in hotels more than doubled last year with a monthly average of almost 700 families living in commercial hotels. The annual cost of accommodating one family in a hotel is more than €55,000, or almost €153 a room a night.

Figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request show the council paid another hotel between €3 million and €4 million; while a third received between €2 million and €3 million.

‘Appalling’

Seven hotels received payments of between €1 million and €2 million and 15 received fees of between €500,000 and €1 million, the executive said.

Mannix Flynn, an Independent Dublin City Councillor, said the payment of such sums to Dublin hotels was “appalling”.

Dublin Bay North TD Tommy Broughan said the figures involved represented “an extraordinarily wrong use of public money being spent”.

He said the payment of up to €5 million to one hotel could have covered the cost of building 20 social houses.

The most recent figures provided by the Dublin executive show that in December there were 1,755 people in private emergency accommodation made up of hotels and B&Bs.

As part of the Government’s housing plan Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has said that by the middle of this year, hotels should only be used in limited circumstances.