Stark warning of increasing homeless figures from the Peter McVerry Trust

The charity is publishing its pre-budget submission

Stark warning of increasing homeless figures from the Peter McVerry Trust

Photo: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust says almost 50% of those in homeless services are aged under 24.

It also predicts there will be 8,300 people living in homeless accommodation when the details of Budget 2018 are announced in October.

Recent figures show over 7,600 people were homeless in April - just over 2,700 of these were children.

The Peter McVerry Trust is calling on the Government to prioritise the needs of people in homelessness in its pre-budget submission.

The charity made its call as it published a 12-point submission, which it believes will help to end the current homelessness and housing crisis.

The charity also pointed out that this year's budget will be announced on October 10th, World Homeless Day.

Peter McVerry CEO Pat Doyle said: "At the core of our proposals is housing.

"Increased provision of affordable and social housing is the only way to deal with the current homelessness crisis in an effective and sustainable way.

"The need to deliver large volumes of affordable and social housing stock is the housing issue that requires immediate Government attention and increased investment".

Steps the Government can take

Mr Doyle said the Government must recognise that the current crisis will get much worse unless it takes immediate action.

"In line with the current rate of people becoming homeless each month, Peter McVerry Trust predicts that there will be 8,300 people living in homeless accommodation when the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe announces details of Budget 2018 in the Dáil chamber on the 10th of October".

"Almost 50% of those in homeless services are aged under 24. There are steps that the Government can take to ensure this figure doesn’t grow any further.

"These include restoring social welfare payment rates for those aged under 26, and ensuring that adequate levels of housing and support services are made available to those who are exiting State care and in danger of becoming homeless".

It comes as a new campaign is highlighting the number of children in Ireland with no home to call their own.

Peter McVerry Trust also repeated its call for Government to introduce an empty homes tax.

"The measures announced to date by Government focus on providing financial incentives to bring vacant properties back into use. This incentive only model is not working. This is clearly demonstrated by the very low numbers of property owners signing up to the Repair and Leasing scheme".