Over 130 more children in emergency accommodation in May

Figures show an increase in people accessing services last month

Over 130 more children in emergency accommodation in May

File photo

The number of people accessing emergency accommodation rose in May.

Figures from the Department of Housing show 6,020 adults and 1,724 families accessed these services last month.

This indicates an increase of 57 adults, 12 families and 137 children over the past month.

This is a total of 9,846 in emergency accommodation.

However, the department says the numbers do not present "a single picture or upward trend" for the whole country.

It says there was no increase in adults accessing emergency accommodation outside of Dublin.

While in Dublin, there was an increase of 57 adults accessing emergency accommodation, a 1% increase on the previous month.

The number of families accessing emergency accommodation in the capital fell by 13 and presentations were also down.

'Large number of children'

But there was an increase in children, the department says, due to a number of new families "with a large number of children" accessing emergency accommodation.

"The presentation of families outside of Dublin seems to have stabilised, apart from an increase in the South West region (14 families), the specific reasons for which need further examination", the department adds.

Source: Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government

Commenting on the figures, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy says: "Any increase in people in emergency accommodation is very disappointing.

"However, a number of indicators are emerging which point to a continuation of the stabilisation we have been seeing in recent months.

"Family homelessness has always been more of a pronounced problem in Dublin than in the rest of the country, so it is encouraging that the numbers of families accessing emergency accommodation in May fell.

"Family presentations to homeless services in Dublin in May also fell.

"However, an increase of 76 dependents occurred due to the presentation of a number of large families.

"This is the second month in a row that we have seen this and it is worrying as exit pathways for larger families can be more difficult to secure."

"Minister is in denial"

Inner City Helping Homeless CEO Anthony Flynn says: "The minister is clearly not being realistic in regard to homeless figures as we have further increase with 137 children entering homelessness last month.

"An overall 2% increase is not stabilisation.

"The minister continues to 'reclassify' homeless people in order to keep the figure below the 10,000 mark over 800 have been 'reclassified' in recent months.

"The minister is in denial we need independent oversight on these figure immediately."