Concerns raised that some children 'have known nothing but homeless accommodation'

Figures have show that 1,846 children and teenagers were homeless on Census night last year

Concerns raised that some children 'have known nothing but homeless accommodation'

File photo. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Serious concerns have been raised that there are children here who have known nothing but homeless accommodation.

The Sunday Business Post reports that a "growing chorus of influential voices" warn that the housing crisis will lead to a 'lost generation' of young people.

Former attorney general and tánaiste Michael McDowell told the paper: "Irish society is sleepwalking towards another tipping point".

Economist Stephen Kinsella revealed the largest growth category in homelessness was under fours, based on analysis of the latest census results.

1,846 children and teenagers were homeless on Census night last year, of which 1,594 were with their families.

A separate report earlier this week highlighted the nutritional challenges facing families in homeless accommodation.

The Focus Ireland report also warned that some families are forced to eat in "socially unacceptable circumstances" - such as dining on a bed or on the floor.

Dearbhail McDonald is Group Business Editor at Independent News & Media, and she spoke about the situation on Yates on Sunday.

She argued: "It is actually quite shocking, given our macro-economic dynamics, that there are little kids of four years old and younger who have known nothing but homeless accommodation.

"[For them] one of the indicators that life is not so bad is that they get to sit down and eat at a table instead of standing up."

She added that despite covering repossessions for many years, she can't get her head around "conceptually" how we went from a housing 'boom & bust' cycle into a homelessness and housing crisis.

Pointing to the differences between the macro and micro-economic experiences of people, she suggested: "Where you have those gulfs [...] that is where political dissent and anger grows, and it fills that vacuum."