Charity ’disturbed’ as new figures show 2895 children recorded as homeless in June

The latest figures from the Department of Housing show that 7,941 people were without a home in June and 2895 of them were children.

The Department says progress has been made in moving families out of hotel and B&B accommodation with just 638 in receipt of this kind of emergency accommodation in June.

However the overall figure marks an increase in the numbers of people in need of housing supports.

Reacting to the figures the charity, Barnardos, said they remain disturbed that the Government’s homelessness figures are continuing to rise.

Barnardos Head of Advocacy, June Tinsley said while the charity acknowledge the reduction in the number of families being accommodated in hotels and B&Bs since March, month on month little progress has been achieved.

"In May, 647 families were in such accommodation and in June this figure had fallen to 638. This demonstrates that the number of families entering homelessness remains higher than those exiting. A net decrease of just nine families is extremely disappointing and disheartening.

“Each day in Barnardos services across Ireland we see the impact that homelessness is having on children. We watch the mental and emotional wellbeing of children deteriorate as their hopes of escaping homelessness fade.

"We meet mothers and fathers acutely aware that their children are experiencing a childhood deprived of play because their entire home is a hotel room. We see the physical impacts of not being able to access adequate nutritious meals due to the transient nature of homeless accommodation.”

Ms Tinsley went on to say that last week the Ombudsman for Children’s Office highlighted that cases referred to them in relation to housing policy and practice frequently show that the best interests of children are ignored.

"As the Department of Housing review the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, it is critical that they redouble their efforts to ensure that children’s rights and needs are realised.”

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