herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Number of families left homeless doubles in year

CRISIS: €500m needed to end 'appalling housing problems' - charity chief

THE amount of Dublin families left homeless has doubled within just one year, new research has found.

Homeless charity Focus Ireland says 40 homeless families sought its help last month.

This figure has doubled since August 2013, the charity said.

Director of Advocacy at Focus Ireland Mike Allen said that the Government needs to significantly invest in new social housing.

He said that unless there was at least €500m in the upcoming Budget to start major building of social housing, we will continue to see appalling problems of homelessness.

Mr Allen also said that the Central Bank and the Government need to realise that closing down on buy-to-let landlords is not a victimless activity.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Mike Allen said there were huge social consequences to this activity, and legislation needs to be brought in to protect tenants in these cases.

Rent supplement should be increased, he claimed, and it was vital that an adequate supply of social housing is built.

appalling

"Unless there at least €500m in the Budget coming up in October to start major building of social housing for people, we're going to continue to see these appalling problems," he said.

"We are going to continue to see families who are trying to keep their kids in school and are living in B&Bs and being moved around every week, and struggling to have a decent life for themselves and their kids."

Earlier this year, the homeless charity said it saw a 25pc jump in the number of calls for its help in the last 12 months.

Some 8,000 people contacted Focus Ireland in 2012.

soar

That rose to 10,000 last year, and the organisation expects that will soar even higher by the end of 2014.

Focus Ireland is blaming the government policy on rent supplements for the rising number of families losing their homes or facing the threat of becoming homeless.

The Government has said it is looking at a number of measures to ease rental pressures.

hnews@herald.ie

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