herald

Thursday 19 April 2018

Most families homeless due to overcrowding and forced departure - report

Head of the Housing SPC, Sinn Fein’s Daithi Doolan
Head of the Housing SPC, Sinn Fein’s Daithi Doolan

A shocking new report on the homelessness crisis in the capital has revealed that 450 families became newly homeless in the first six months of the year.

The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) report, seen by the Herald, also revealed that 96pc of newly homeless families have entered into emergency accommodation related to an inability to secure a rented home or because of family circumstance, according to the findings.

It also revealed that Notices To Quit were issued to 180 families by landlords.

The report found family circumstances - such as relationship breakdowns or overcrowding - were the most common reason for homelessness.

This was followed by forced departure from a tenancy in private rented accommodation.

The DRHE says the busiest month for those presenting as homeless came in January, which is believed to be because many defer from presenting themselves over Christmas.

The figure for January was 87.

However, over the course of the six months, the number of new families only dropped below 65 once, which was in February. LANDLORDS Over the six month period - from the end of December 2016 to June 2017 - the number of families in emergency accommodation in Dublin rose from 1,028 to 1,115.

Of the 180 Notices To Quit given by landlords, reasons were not provided by 114 families, but of those remaining, the bulk of reasons were spread between tenant rent arrears and plans for the property to be sold.

Only two were listed for anti-social behaviour.

Information provided for July and August in a subsequent report indicated similar patterns. Head of the Housing SPC, Daithi Doolan, told the Herald the results of the report banished the myth that if you are homeless you are dysfunctional.

"This reports clearly shows nothing could be further from the truth. The DRHE report demonstrates that family circumstances is the main cause of homelessness today," he said.

"With 49pc of families stating the primary reason for homelessness is overcrowding or family breakdown, this is followed closely at 47pc by forced departure from the private rented sector being the cause of families being made homeless.

"This report needs to be circulated, read and understood by policymakers and department officials. Homelessness will stay with us as long as we have a drought of housing in Dublin.

"This report highlights the urgent need to build adequate council and affordable homes to meet the needs of families across Dublin," he added.

Last month DRHE head Eileen Gleeson was widely criticised after she said that homeless people don't become homeless overnight.

Ms Gleeson also said that "it takes years of bad behaviour" for a person to become homeless.

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