2,777 children were homeless at end of May

Government has failed to meet its deadline on having no homeless families in hotel and B&B accommodation

2,777 children were homeless at end of May

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

More than 2,700 children were homeless at the end of last month.

The Department of Housing has published the latest figures which show there were 1,312 homeless families at the end of May, with 2,777 children categorised as homeless.

In total, 4,922 adults were recorded as being without a home.

While the number of homeless adults dropped slightly compared to April, the number of homeless children increased by 69.

The Government last week acknowledged that their target of moving families out of hotel and B&B accommodation by the end of June would be missed.

The May figures show there were 647 homeless families being accommodated in emergency accommodation in the Dublin region.

Responding to the figures, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said: "Working closely with the Chief Executives of the four Dublin local authorities and their teams, we have redoubled our efforts in the past couple of weeks to ensure that the pathway out of commercial hotels for virtually all of these families at the end of May is now clear.

"While there is good progress being made and a range of interventions and supports are in place that are being led by a range of agencies, it’s still a significant challenge."

He added: "I am considering new policy options and responses to ensure that we can quickly realise the target of no new families presenting as homeless being accommodated in hotels, and those families currently there being offered more sustainable solutions."

Responding to today's figures, homelessness campaigner Peter McVerry says there was public outrage when the number of homeless children first passed the 1,000 mark in 2015.

He argued: "We just have become use to these homeless figures, and they no longer offend us - we have lost our sense of outrage".

Barnardos, meanwhile, said it is extremely concerned at the figures released today.

June Tinsley, Barnardos Head of Advocacy, suggests: “A more aggressive approach is required to tackle the ever deepening housing crisis. These figures also do not reflect the number of ‘hidden homeless’ families who do not appear on the official register. 

"Thousands of families in Ireland are living in overcrowded, substandard or unsafe accommodation because they have no other options.”