Number of homeless children in Ireland hits record high

Barnardos say 1,312 families in Ireland without a home

Number of homeless children in Ireland hits record high

A man asking for money at the Ha'Penny Bridge, Dublin in 2007 | Image: Albert Gonzalez/RollingNews.ie

Children's charity Barnardos is calling on the Government to take a more aggressive approach to the ever deepening housing crisis.

It comes as figures revel that 2,777 children are currently without a home.

It says this is the highest number of homeless children ever recorded in Ireland.

Earlier this year, the Government vowed to end by July the use of hotels and B&Bs as long-term accommodation for homeless families.

However Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted they will miss that deadline.

Barnardos say 1,312 families in Ireland without a home - many of whom continue to live in hotels and B&Bs.

June Tinsley, Barnardos head of advocacy, said: "Being homeless has a profound effect on children’s health, well-being, development and life potential.

"The Government promised to provide homeless families with more suitable accommodation by mid-2017 and this has not yet happened, meanwhile children and families suffer in inappropriate and unsuitable accommodation.

"The Government needs to ensure suitable alternative accommodation for these families immediately.

Barnardos wants the Government to prioritise building more social housing units to increase supply and reduce the over reliance on the private rented sector.

It also wants to see rent supplement and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) rates in line with market rents.

“A more aggressive approach is required to tackle the ever deepening housing crisis.

"These figures also do not reflect the number of ‘hidden homeless’ families who do not appear on the official register.

"Thousands of families in Ireland are living in overcrowded, substandard or unsafe accommodation because they have no other options", Ms Tinsley added.