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Sinn Féin publish Homeless policy document – Up to 13,000 people in Emergency Accommodation – Ó Broin

13 December, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has published a new homeless policy document which indicates that the true level of homelessness is closer to 13,000 and not 10,000. The policy document details the additional number of adults and children in emergency accommodation who are not included in the Department of Housing’s monthly homeless reports.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said: 

“Every month, the Department of Housing releases figures for the number of adults, families and children in emergency accommodation. The figures for October show 5,999 adults and 3,725 children living in hubs, hostels, hotels and B&B’s.

“The figure of 9,724 just includes those adults and children in Department of Housing funded emergency accommodation.  However, there are adults and children in emergency accommodation funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Justice.

“The Department of Children and Youth affairs, through Tusla, funds emergency and step down accommodation for adults and children made homeless as a result of domestic violence

“We do not yet have the figures for 2017 or 2018. In 2016, 1,562 women and 2,223 children were accommodated.  Information from Tusla indicates that, on any given night, there are 599 beds available in the system and these are usually at capacity.

“The Department of Justice funds the Direct Provision System for people seeking asylum. According to responses to parliamentary questions, there are 620 people still living in direct provision centres, despite having being granted some form of leave to remain.

“For these families, Direct Provision has become a form of emergency accommodation while they search for alternative accommodation.

“The 100+ people staying in emergency and transitional accommodation providers, such as Morning Star and Regina Coeli that are not funded by the State, are not counted.

“The Minister removed 1,606 adults and children from the homeless figures in recent months. This is despite the fact that the majority of these people remain homeless.

“All in all, there are approximately 12,805 people accessing emergency accommodation in this State; far more than the 9,724 currently counted by the government.

“This is not about figures. It is about the government’s ability to provide the services required to meet the true level of need. The document makes four recommendations that Sinn Féin believe would aid the collation of accurate data.

“This includes an urgent meeting of the data sub group of the Homeless Consultative Committee to agree a methodology for the homeless reports. The Minister should not be removing people from the figures for political reasons.

“Therefore, Sinn Féin believe that responsibility for the publication of the figures should be given to an independent body such as the CSO or the Housing Agency. Going forward, the official monthly reports must clearly set out the number of rough sleepers, women and children in domestic violence accommodation, adults and children with leave to remain but using direct provision as emergency accommodation, and those in non-government funded hostels such as Morning Star.” 

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