Number of newly homeless families hits 18 month high

A record number of 1,178 families are now homeless in Dublin alone, new figures show

Number of newly homeless families hits 18 month high

Image: RollingNews.ie

Updated 13.30

99 families became homeless in Dublin in July, new figures have revealed.

Homelessness charity Focus Ireland says it's the second highest number recorded since 2013, and the highest number since January 2016.

The charity says it means a record number of 1,178 families with 2,423 children are now homeless in the capital.

According to the figures, the newly homeless families included 214 children. 

Focus Ireland Advocacy Director Mike Allen says the figures show that the homeless crisis is "continuing to deepen", and suggests that the Government must move from "managing homelessness towards ending it". 

He observed: "We had seen a drop in the numbers of families becoming homeless every month at the end of last year and earlier this year - but this is no longer the case, and we are back to constantly rising numbers every month.

“We are in the middle of the worst homelessness crisis in living memory as nearly 8,000 people are homeless nationwide." 

The Irish Times this morning published the latest figures from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE), also showing the largest rise in newly homeless families since January 2016.

The latest figures come only a day after the news that two homeless people had died in separate tragedies in Kildare and Dublin.

In a statement yesterday, DRHE expressed condolences to the families & friends of the man and the woman who died.

Today, Minister Murphy also expressed his condolences to the families of the two individuals.

The Housing Minister said: "We are treating this with the utmost seriousness and sensitivity and providing them with every assistance that we can.

"Out of consideration for the two families I would ask people to respect their privacy, and not to speculate on the individual circumstances of the deceased or the cause of their deaths. It’s a very difficult time for those involved."

"Totally unacceptable"

The Housing Minister also acknowledged that the levels of homelessness in the country are "totally unacceptable" and admitted "I know that we need to do more".

He said he will be holding an emergency summit next week with the heads of all of the country's local authorities, in order to consider additional measures to try and tackle the crisis.

Following the publication of the DRHE figures, Sinn Féin's housing spokesperson Eoin O'Broin said: “The Dublin family homeless figures released today are deeply disturbing but unfortunately not surprising. They demonstrate yet again that the government has not only failed to get to grips with the homeless crisis but that its actions and indeed inactions are making things worse."

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger, meanwhile, called for measures such as a ban on economic evictions and the use of vacant homes to be introduced.

"It is time for a radical change," Deputy Coppinger suggested.