herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Third of all country's homeless people being 'shoved' on city centre

Homelessness in Dublin city centre
Homelessness in Dublin city centre

Almost a third of the country's homeless people are being placed in emergency accommodation in Dublin's city centre.

More than 3,000 adults and children are currently homeless in the south and north inner city, with Dublin 1 having 20 times the national average of people staying in emergency accommodation.

However, despite the significant concentration of homeless people in the city centre, three areas of Dublin have no people living in temporary or emergency accommodation.

Figures from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show 1,418 adults and children are using some form of homeless accommodation in Dublin 1.

A further 785 are in Dublin 8, while 728 are staying in Dublin 7.

The figures, from March 1, show nearly 30pc of the country's 10,305 homeless people were being accommodated in inner-city Dublin.

Effort

Three Dublin postal areas, D6W, which includes Terenure and Templeogue; Dublin 13, which includes Donaghmede and Howth; and Dublin 16, which covers Ballinteer and Ballyboden, had no adults or children living in emergency accommodation.

Former lord mayor of Dublin Christy Burke said the figures show other local authorities "shoving the situation" on Dublin city centre.

"For years myself and other TDs and groups have been arguing the point that we didn't have a problem taking a percentage for beds in locations in Dublin 1 but there was a deliberate Government policy of concentrating hostel beds in Dublin 1," Mr Burke told the Herald.

"The excuse given was that all services required were based in the city centre.

"We have satellite systems in different parts of Dublin.

"If you look at the addresses, most come from Fingal, south Co Dublin, Tallaght and Knocklyon.

"Everyone deserves a bed and we all have to play our part and all play our role in providing beds.

"There is a touch of snobbery when they hear of a hostel opening - there's an immediate attempt to get an injunction against the city council or the HSE," the Independent councillor for the north inner city added.

Other counties outside the capital are included in the Dublin region, with 342 living in homeless accommodation in Co Meath.

A further 205 homeless people are living in a form of emergency accommodation in Co Kildare, with 81 in Co Louth and 19 in Co Wicklow.

The national figures for March showed 10,305 adults and children were homeless, an increase on the previous month.

It comes as Dublin City Council was accused of not meeting housing targets under the four-year housing programme.

Figures obtained by Fianna Fail senator Catherine Ardagh show the local authority has fallen short by 306 of its own total targeted delivery for 2018.

"It is worrying that in the first year of the new programme, Dublin City Council's own figures reveal a shortfall of 306," the Crumlin politician said.

"The plan put in place by Dublin City Council is comprehensive and ambitious.

"I am confident it will go some way to supporting families caught in the housing crisis.

"However, for the plan to succeed the local authority need support from central Government.

Termination

"The housing crisis is all-encompassing. Homelessness figures have been above 10,000 for the fifth month in a row.

"I am calling on the Housing Minister [Eoghan Murphy] to ensure that all possible supports are provided to DCC to aid them in meeting their housing programme targets," Ms Ardagh added.

A report published last year showed a review of the initial assessments conducted with families on their presentation to homeless services revealed two primary reasons for homelessness - leaving private rented accommodation on foot of a notice of termination and leaving friends' or family accommodation due to overcrowding.

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