Dramatic rise in single and family homelessness as numbers surge to 11,397 - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien to put in place an emergency response to the deepening homeless crisis.
The calls come as the Department of Housing’s October homeless report shows both single person and family homelessness surge to an all-time high of 11,397 people.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The latest Department of Housing homeless report is the worst on record. In October, 11,397 people, including 3,480 children, were in emergency accommodation funded by that Department.
“This is the highest number ever recorded, and driven by a significant increase in both single person and family homelessness.
“The increase in September included an extra 284 adults and 138 children. Family homelessness is now perilously close to November 2019 high point.
“Of course this is not the true level of homelessness as it excludes women and children in Tusla-funded domestic violence refuges, adults and children trapped in Direct Provision who have secured their status, people in hostels not funded by the state, or rough sleepers.
“The true figure is in excess of 16,000 adults and children.
“This is the latest evidence that the government’s housing plan is not working. Social and affordable housing targets are too low and are not being met. This is the primary cause of the rise in homelessness.
“While the winter ban on evictions, introduced from November 1st, will provide some temporary relief for those who would otherwise be at risk of homelessness, it will not solve the underlying problem.
“The Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien must introduce an emergency package of measures to both reduce the numbers of people presenting as homeless and to speed up people’s exit from emergency accommodation.
“Failure to do this will lead to a cliff-edge for many single people and families with children when the eviction ban ends in April.
“Any emergency package of measures must include a more aggressive tenant-in-situ scheme; up-front funding to councils to bring vacant and derelict homes into use more quickly; use of high quality modular building technologies; and emergency planning powers.
“The aim must be to bring on-stream several thousand units of social housing in an accelerated timeframe, and then to continue to increase and accelerate the delivery of social and affordable homes.”