The Government can provide support for any individuals who find themselves homeless this Christmas, according to the Housing Minister.
Minister Darragh O’Brien joined The Anton Savage Show today where he discussed actions being taken to reduce homelessness in Ireland.
A record 13,179 people were registered as homeless in October.
The problem is most severe in Dublin where 9,713 people are homeless.
Minister O’Brien said homelessness supports are available for anyone in need.
“I want to assure people through the winter months that anyone who has unfortunately found themselves homeless and needs the support of the state that they will get it,” he said.
“We do have the capacity there to do it and we will finish out the year in a very positive way in terms of housing delivery.”
Minister O’Brien added that there is “good emergency accommodation” available for homelessness.
He said the state's housing capacity is now growing strongly.
“We’re exiting more people out now [of emergency accommodation] in the first three quarters of this year than we ever have before, into permanent and secure housing,” said Minister O’Brien.
“That’s because we are increasing our social housing, and the momentum of our new build deliveries is going very strong.
“We will exceed our target this year quite substantially, I predict. We have a target of 29,000 but should be in the low 30s with a very strong pipeline for next year.”
Minister O’Brien said he “won’t predict” when homeless figures in Ireland will start to fall.
Peter McVerry Trust
The Housing Minister also confirmed that the Government will continue to support cash-strapped homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust.
“My main priority is for their services to continue for their service users,” said Minister O’Brien.
“The many staff there who carry out important functions need to be supported and that’s why I have provided interim emergency funding – with conditions.
“I want to support the work they are doing and I think we could potentially be seeing significant restructuring there in the first quarter of next year.”
Minister O’Brien said “No question, there will be lessons learned” from the financial issues facing the Peter McVerry Trust.
Main Image: Homeless person shelters from the cold Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin. Image: Michael Rooney / Alamy