Campaigners say latest homelessness figures highlight "urgent need" to implement Action Plan

There were 2,020 children and 993 families in emergency accommodation in the Dublin area last month

Campaigners say latest homelessness figures highlight "urgent need" to implement Action Plan

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Campaigners have described the latest homelessness figures as "shocking" and "highly concerning".

The latest figures from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive show that there were 2,020 children and 993 families in emergency accommodation in the region last month.

The figures compare with 1,894 children and 939 families recorded during June.

The Simon Community highlights that last month's figures represent a "shocking" 79% increase on July 2015 numbers.

Last month marked the publication of the Government's Action Plan for Housing & Homelessness, which included a pledge to put an end to hotels and B&Bs for emergency accommodation within a year.

Speaking about the July figures, the Simon Community said: “The rate of homelessness for children is also increasing at a rapid rate in Dublin and has exceeded 2,000 for the first time since current records began. In July 2015, there was 1,185 children in emergency accommodation. This is an astounding 70% increase in the last 12 months.

“The continuing rise in the number of vulnerable families and children becoming homeless highlight once again the urgent need for the implementation of the Housing and Homeless Action Plan," they add.

Focus Ireland, meanwhile, says that 599 families and 1,202 children have become homeless so far this year in Dublin.

Mike Allen, Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy, said: “It is highly concerning that nearly 100 more families became homeless in Dublin alone last month. This is sadly one of the highest number of families who have become homeless in one single month."

He adds that many evictions last month would have been commenced ahead of the Government's decision to increase rent supplement levels.

However, he also highlights that "there are indications that an increasing number of families are becoming homeless because their landlord is selling up (or being forced to sell up). The fact that there is no immediate response in the Action Plan to this growing factor is of grave concern and shows that the range of actions in the Plan needs to be widened."