herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Nearly 1,000 children are now homeless across Dublin

housing

A homeless man makes his way up Dublin's Grafton Street in the early hours, looking for a place to bed down for the night
A homeless man makes his way up Dublin's Grafton Street in the early hours, looking for a place to bed down for the night

The number of homeless children living in emergency hotel and B&B rooms in Dublin is now quickly approaching the 1,000 mark, latest figures show.

From March 23 to 29 there were 911 kids and 571 adults from 411 families in emergency accommodation in the capital, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) said.

The total number of adult individuals seeking emergency accommodation, including people with no children, in the same week was 2,059.

Figures from the previous month showed 371 families with 803 children in emergency accommodation, making the new numbers the biggest monthly increase since the crisis began to escalate last year.

Most of these families are coming from the private rented sector, where in Dublin rents increased by an average of 7pc to €1,301 for houses last year, and by nearly 11pc to €1,166 for apartments.

The DRHE confirmed to the Herald that local authorities are working to "absolute capacity" on a daily basis.

"The local authorities are acutely aware that many families are in a stressful situation in terms of their accommodation and are working to ensure that families are linked in with appropriate tenancy sustainment services," said Lisa Kelleher of the DRHE.

Stephen Large, of the housing charity Threshold which strives to keep people from becoming homeless, said rising rents and a lack of alternative accommodation is putting people at an increased risk of homelessness.

"We see an increase in the number of people seeking the tenancy protection service," he said.

"The government social housing strategy will take time to come on stream because homes have to be built first. In the meantime, tenants are caught between a rock and a hard place with rising rents."

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