Homeless figures drop for fifth month in a row

The number of people living in emergency accommodation dropped for the fifth consecutive month – to 8,699 in June, according to the latest homeless figures.

The Department of Housing said it represents a drop of 177 people accessing emergency accommodation in May when 6,046 adults and 2,653 children were listed as living in emergency accommodation.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien said despite the slight decrease, “the number of people and families in homelessness is simply too high”.

He said: “One of my main priorities as minister will be to accelerate the numbers of people exiting homelessness and to reduce the time that people spend in emergency accommodation.

“Improved delivery of social and affordable housing will be key but we will also be focusing on increasing the levels of supports to households with complex needs.”

Homeless Charity Focus Ireland welcomed June’s figures, but said it has “grave concern” that weaknesses in the Government’s legislation to extend protection to renters impacted by the pandemic will lead to a new surge in homelessness.

The Simon Communities of Ireland national spokesman, Wayne Stanley, said the the reduction in the number of families in emergency accommodation is due to the moratorium on evictions.

Mr Stanley said this ban on evictions is set to end on August 1.

“This will see more families having to enter homelessness in the months ahead, reversing the really progressive trend we have all worked so hard to achieve in the last months. In turn, homeless services will be stretched given public health requirements around social distancing,” he said.

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