Tánaiste downplays rise in homelessness figures

Frances Fitzgerald described the 35% rise year on year as a "slight increase"

Tánaiste downplays rise in homelessness figures

Image: RollingNews.ie

Tanáiste Frances Fitzgerald has played down the rising number of homeless people in the Dáil today, welcoming the slow-down of the rate of increase.

Figures published yesterday show a 35% increase year on year, while the number of children in emergency accommodation has gone from just over 900 to more than 2,100 in the past year.

Fianna Fáil raised the issue in the Dáil today, but Mrs Fitzgerald said the focus should be on the slow-down, stressing the figures were from October.

"None of us want to see families going into homeless accommodation or hotel accommodation," she told the Dáil.

The organisation’s Director of Advocacy, Mike Allen said the figures paint, “a really appalling, bleak picture” as we head into Christmas.

“The street team that we run jointly with the Peter McVerry Trust have been out every night but there aren’t enough beds for people.

"The Taoiseach says the latest number of people homeless in Dublin is "not satisfactory... you can't deny that".

The Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney has pledged to put an extra 210 emergency beds in place in Dublin by December 9th and Mr Harris said “the sooner those are in place the sooner we can get people off the streets.

Minister Coveney said the Civil Defence will also provide an extra 20 beds, bringing the nightly emergency accommodation capacity for single adults in the city to 1,800.

“It is essential that we have sufficient beds to meet any increased demand during cold weather," he said.