Some 366 families and 731 children homeless in Dublin so far this year

Focus Ireland warns the risk of families sleeping rough is re-emerging

Focus Ireland, homeless, Dublin, families, children, accomodation, sleeping rough

A man in a sleeping bag lying outside a shop on South George's Street in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

New figures issued by Focus Ireland reveal that 74 families became newly homeless in Dublin in April.

These latest figures mean that 366 families and 731 children have become homeless in the first four months of this year in the capital alone.

They follow a record total of 125 families who became homeless in January, 83 in February, 84 in March and now 74 in April in Dublin.

The increase brings the total number of families living in emergency accommodation in Dublin to a record 888, with 1,786 children.

Focus Ireland has warned that the continued record number of families becoming homeless - combined with pressure on hotel rooms - means the risk of families being forced to sleep rough is beginning to re-emerge.

The group's director of advocacy, Mike Allen, said: "Our Housing First street team (operated jointly with Peter McVerry trust) is increasingly working with families that have not obtained emergency accommodation late into the evening".

"Last year, in collaboration with the DRHE and other homeless organisations, we put a number of 'safety net' options in place. We are having to trigger these responses on an increasingly frequent basis".

"This situation puts added stress on parents and children who are already in crisis".

"We are again at a point where it will just take one more thing to go wrong before a family is left with no shelter for the night", he added.

Focus Ireland is set to address the Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness later this week, and the charity says it will be highlighting the need for effective measures to prevent households becoming homeless.

While Housing Minister Simon Coveney is to publish a new housing action plan by the end of July.