Increase in Dublin rough sleeper numbers as charities call for urgent action

Homelessness groups say new government measures needed to deal with crisis

Increase in Dublin rough sleeper numbers as charities call for urgent action

File photo | PA Images

The number of rough sleepers in Dublin has increased by more than 10% in the last five months.

A new Dublin Region Homeless Executive report shows that 102 people were sleeping rough in the city on one night last month, compared to 91 in the last count in November.

Of these, 84 were men, 16 were women and two were counted as unknown.

The figure does not include the 69 people who were staying in Dublin's homeless night café on the night in question, April 24th.

Action groups said the report points to the need for urgent action on homelessness.

Ashley Balbirnie of Focus Ireland said: "The major reason for this crisis is the failure of previous governments to act to prevent a problem turning into a crisis and now it is an emergency situation.

"The last government did some work to help prevent families and individuals from becoming homeless and others to move on and secure a home. 

"However, the actions were neither sufficient nor fast enough to deal with the problems, and in some areas, such as rent supplement, they actually helped transform the housing crisis into a homeless emergency."

Pat Doyle of the Peter McVerry Trust called the latest rough sleeper figures "unacceptable and deeply disappointing".

“The government needs to introduce robust interventions to stop people falling through the cracks and into homelessness," he said.

"We need to see the urgent introduction of index-linked rents and we need a substantial increase in rent supplement rates."