Newstalk
Newstalk

13.52 5 Jan 2018


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Up to 14 homeless families living in one of Dublin's best known hotels are being evicted at the end of the month, with nowhere to go.

The Gresham Hotel has said it is no longer accepting payments from Dublin City Council to provide emergency accommodation.

Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) has said an increase in tourism levels is pushing many families out - and has warned that it is not up to the hotel federation to solve the crisis.

Celine and her son have been living in the Gresham hotel for the past 14 months. She is one of over a dozen families being evicted at the end of the month after the hotel on Dublin's O'Connell Street said that it won't be accepting homeless payments from the City Council any longer.

Government supports

According to ICHH, the families have been told to reapply for self-accommodation assessment when they're evicted.

CEO Anthony Flynn says that's not good enough:

"What we need is wrap-around supports in place for these families today," he said.

"We need to take them out of the Gresham Hotel as soon as possible and put them into temporary supported accommodation in order for them to move into their long-term homes."

Homeless

Celine says it feels like she's being made homeless all over again:

"I have been there 14 months," she said.

"It is basically my home now; I have made it my home - I know it is one room but you kind of get settled," she said.

"I feel like I am going homeless again, I don't know if we will be left on the streets or not.

"We didn't get much notice even."

€115m has been spent on emergency accommodation in 2017 in Dublin up from €43m the year before.

Housing crisis

Anthony Flynn has said the government needs to step up and to stop relying on the private sector to solve its problems.

"The hotel industry is not there to fix the housing crisis," he said.

"Hotels have been a stop-gap measure for a long time. The over-reliance has been too heavy on the private sector and on the hotel sector.

"It is up to the State; it is up to the Department; it is up to the Council in order to provide accommodation for these people."

Inner City Helping Homeless has said it has offered a number of solutions to Dublin City Council that would provide appropriate accommodation to the families - but they still have not heard back.

Representatives for the Gresham Hotel were unavailable for comment.

Reporting from Kim Buckley ...


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