The number of homeless children reached 2,177 in May

Number of minors in emergency accommodation rose by 79% in a year

The number of homeless children and families continues to increase with the latest figures for last month showing there were 2,177 homeless children in 1,054 families homeless across the State last month.

This represents a 79 per cent increase in the number of children in emergency accommodation since May 2015, and an 86 per cent increase in families.

In May 2015 there were 1,211 homeless children in 565 families.

The highest numbers are in Dublin, where in the week of May 23rd-29th there were 1,847 children in emergency accommodation, in 913 families.

This compares with 1,034 children in May 2015 (78 per cent increase) in 490 families (86 per cent increase).

Supported accommodation

Of the 913 families in emergency accommodation in Dublin last month, 228, with 453 children, were in supported homeless accommodation, while 685 families, with 1,394 children, were in hotels and B&B accommodation.

Nationally and in Dublin, two-thirds of the families are headed by single parents. Some 705 of the 1,054 families nationally were headed by lone parents.

In Dublin, 608 of the 913 families were headed by single parents.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said yesterday it was "deeply disappointed" the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness had "failed" to recommend minimum standards for families in emergency accommodation.

Voice of the child

“The voice of the child is missing from the report,” said the charity.

"The practice of homeless children being inappropriately placed with their families in B&B and hotel emergency accommodation for long periods must cease . . . We know this cannot happen overnight," said chief executive Grainia Long.

“The lack of minimum standards in emergency accommodation in which hundreds of children are placed regularly is a significant and immediate concern for the ISPCC.”