Government to miss deadline for moving homeless families out of hotels

Minister Eoghan Murphy admitted this morning that not all families will be out of hotels and B&Bs by July 1st

Government to miss deadline for moving homeless families out of hotels

Eoghan Murphy. Image: Juliette Gash

Families are to remain in hotel accommodation after the July 1st deadline set by the previous housing minister.

The deadline was a key element of the €5.5bn programme action plan on housing, which was released last year.

The newly-appointed Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted that not all families will be out of hotels and B&Bs by the end of this month, as had been pledged by his predecessor Simon Coveney.

He said there were just under 650 families in emergency accommodation in the Dublin region at the end of May, down from 871 in March.

Minister Murphy acknowledged earlier today that some of those families would remain beyond July.

He explained: "While some of the delivery of some of the accommodation solutions will stretch beyond the 1st of July deadline, it's a considerable achievement to be able to have a clear picture on the pathway out of commercial hotels for virtually all of those families.

"Of those 650 homeless families, by the end of this month they will either be in their new accommodation in these new hubs, or they will have been notified in writing where they will be going in the coming weeks."

Labour Housing Spokesperson, Jan O’Sullivan TD, expressed disappointment at the missed deadline.

She said: “I have long been saying that it is not suitable for children to be in this type of accommodation, and I am really concerned about the impact and potential long term effects that this type of constant uncertainty must be having on them. We can only imagine the stress and anxiety for parents also.

“There has been much talk from Government on tackling the housing and homelessness crisis but very little actual delivery," she added.

Sinn Féin's Eoin Ó Broin noted that the failure to meet the deadline was "disappointing, but not surprising".

He argued: “Sinn Féin is on the record stating that the former Minister for Housing Simon Coveney had not been forthcoming with any updates on how he planned to reach his target.

“Not enough is being done in order to bring enough social housing on-stream. Central government needs to provide enough funding to buy, refurbish, and build more houses.”

The deadline comes as the homeless charity Focus Ireland said it supported a record number of over 13,500 people in 2016.

The group says a shift in direction is needed away from 'managing homelessness' towards ending the crisis.