Coveney: Rise in homelessness figures "disappointing, but not unexpected"

Almost 7,500 people found themselves in emergency accommodation last month

Coveney: Rise in homelessness figures "disappointing, but not unexpected"

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The number of people in emergency accommodation has risen to almost 7,500.

Of the 7,421 in emergency accommodation in February, 1,239 of those were families

Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said that while the figures were "disappointing", they did not come as a surprise to his department.

February’s figures are a stark reminder of the difficulties we face in dealing with the homelessness problem," he said. "But we must continue to work hard and redouble our efforts.

“While we are finding more homes for people who find themselves homeless, we remain fully focused on increasing supply which is at the core of our housing challenges," the Minister concluded.

While The Simon Community called the government's action plan for housing and homelessness "a much needed and positive step", the number of people in emergency accommodation remains too high.

"We urgently need to prevent more adults, more families and more children becoming homeless and to provide permanent homes with support for those trapped in emergency accommodation for far too long," Niamh Randall, Spokesperson for the Simon Communities said.

"We are setting them up to fail"

Children's charity Barnardos said the impact of the action plan was not being felt by those who need it most.

Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay said: “All children need a safe, secure and appropriate home so that they can grow and thrive. Without this basic necessity we are setting them up to fail. For the children who are homeless, their childhoods and their futures are endangered. And it doesn’t have to be this way. This is a crisis of unprecedented scale for children in Ireland."

ISPCC Chief Executive Grainia Long stated: “Despite government promises within the Rebuilding Ireland programme, the numbers of homeless children are going in the wrong direction."

Comparing the figures

In February 2016, 3,930 were homeless across Ireland.