Charity helped record number of people at risk of homelessness in 2017

Update - 10.42am: Focus Ireland helped a record number of 14,500 people at risk of homelessness last year.

That is an increase of 7% on 2016, according to their figures.

The charity has released its annual report which says there has been an increase in homeless families.

Focus Ireland says it also supported more than 1,000 households out of homelessness into secure homes.

9.37am: Charity wants State to set aside €84.5m a year over next decade for houses for the elderly

Alone, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is calling on the Government to provide €84.5m a year over the next 10 years to build another 122,000 houses for the elderly.

The charity's report, ‘Housing Choices For Older People in Ireland – Time for Action’, also urges the Government to provide home adaptation grants for older people.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of Alone, said: “We believe that now is the time for action on housing for older people. Over the last 30 years we have seen many reports which have called for changes in housing provision for older people.

"Now we have established the demand for the various types of housing and we need the Oireachtas to act on it.”

He welcomed the recommendations made by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing which he said were "the first step towards developing housing for all".

He said: "It is great that the Joint Oireachtas Committee agrees that we must start working on this now.

"We hope that the various Ministers, TDs and Senators will get behind our report and implement real change for older people.

"25% of people over 55 years of age (283,633 people) are experiencing problems with housing maintenance, and 20% (234,848) have housing facility problems."

"But 29% of people would consider moving to adapted housing if it was available to them.”

The charity is calling for 59,462 purpose-built homes within communities, 45,902 supportive housing and housing with supports units, 16,307 shared housing units and 13,000 new nursing home spaces.

They said the numbers are the minimum required in order to cope with our ageing population.

9.15am: Ireland playing 'catch-up' and is 17,000 student beds short, says Mary Mitchell O'ConnorThe Junior Education Minister has admitted that Ireland is 17,000 student accommodation beds short of demand.

Mary Mitchell O'Connor released the latest Department of Education report on its student accommodation strategy this morning.

It has found just under 3,000 new bed spaces have been built this year, with a further 7,200 under construction.

Minister Mitchell-O'Connor says 50,000 students need accommodation at the moment.

She said: "We're not to forget that there is a current supply of 33,000 already, and I'd love to wave the wand and have all of this accommodation available next year. That's not possible.

"We've had a 10-year spiral that there was no student accommodation built, so we're in a catch-up position."

6.36am: 'We've learnt nothing in the last 10 years' - Reports summarise state of housing in IrelandThree new housing reports are out today.

Focus Ireland claims there has been a big increase in the number of homeless families.

Alone is warning that older people are at risk of falling behind on their rents as they age, while the Government will publish an update on its efforts to build student accommodation.

It is going to claim that almost 3,000 beds have been added since last year, but critics say they are too expensive.

It is claimed new student housing which is coming on the market resembles "boutique hotels" and is "too expensive".

The report by the charity Alone calls on the Government to provide funding to build housing for those who currently rent but won't be able to into their old age.

Seán Moynihan, the CEO of Alone, said: "We all know that a lot more people won't buy and how are they going to pay the rent, and how are we going to build houses there?

"Ultimately, now is the time to act, I think that we have learnt nothing in the last 10 years."

- Digital Desk

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