27% increase in homelessness in 12 months – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the February homelessness figures which show that 7,421 people are now living in emergency accommodation.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Unfortunately, the homelessness figures for February show the problem is worsening. In January 2017, there were 4,760 adults in emergency accommodation; this month, there are 4,875 adults living in emergency accommodation. This represents an increase of 254 on January of this year and a 27% increase in twelve months.
“The number of homeless families has increased from 1,172 in January 2017 to 1,239 in February. The number of homeless adults recorded for February 2017 has increased from 4,760 to 4,875.
“I welcomed last month that there was a slight dip in child homelessness. However, this trend has reversed. There are now 2, 546 children sleeping in emergency accommodation. This is 35% increase in child homelessness on the same period in 2016 and an increase of 157 from January this year, where the number of homeless children stood at 2,407.
“Contrary to claims Minister Simon Coveney made last month, his policies are not stemming the flow of people into homelessness. He made a commitment that no families would be living in hotels and B&Bs by July this year. With each month that passes, it becomes more improbable that the Minister will keep this promise. The promised rapid build homes promoted as a means to house families have not yet materialised and are significantly behind schedule.
“I am calling on the Minister to review his current plan and to adopt a more urgent approach. With his own deadline looming he must bring forward the launch of his vacant homes strategy. This should contain an ambitious, well-funded acquisitions programme. He must also increase funding for Housing First tenancies. We need a minimum of 1,000 new Housing First tenancies this year.”