Fall in homeless numbers welcome but important questions remain - Eoin Ó Broin
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has welcomed the fall in the official homeless figures for March but said ‘question remain’.
The Dublin Mid-West TD believes it is too early to tell whether last month's drop is a COVID-19 related anomaly or part of a more general trend.
Deputy Ó Broin said: "The fall in the number of adults and children officially recognised as homeless by the Department of Housing in March is to be welcomed.
"However, important questions remain to be answered. Since the COVID-19 restrictions have come into place, there have been significant restrictions on local authorities accepting new homeless presentations.
"In some instances, individuals have been refused access to emergency accommodation and forced to sleep rough because of these restrictions.
"There are also individuals and families who temporarily exited emergency accommodation at the request of local authorities to free up space for isolation units.
"These people will return to emergency accommodation once those restrictions are lifted.
"While any reduction of the number of people in emergency is to be welcomed, it is too early to tell whether this last month's drop was a COVID-19 related anomaly or part of a more general trend.
"In reality, we won't know until we have the first post COVID-19 restriction figures, which may be some months away."