459 fewer people required emergency accommodation in May

459 fewer people required emergency accommodation in May
File image.

8,876 people were registered as homeless in May.

459 fewer people required emergency accommodation when compared to April, according to the Department of Housing.

The latest figures show that there were 2,787 children without a home last month.

1,217 families were in emergency accommodation in May, which the Department says is the lowest number recorded in the last three years.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said in a statement: “The numbers for May are encouraging as we continue to move families and individuals into permanent homes.

“Significantly there are fewer families in emergency accommodation today than at any point in the last three years. The number of families and children in emergency accommodation fell in 2019, the first annual fall in a number of years.

“The good work of those in homeless services has continued throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

“Nevertheless, our entire focus must remain on those who need our help to secure a permanent home.

“The work of local authorities and NGOs over the last number of months as we work hard to keep some of our most vulnerable citizens safe during the Covid-19 crisis has been exemplary and I again want to thank everyone for their efforts.” 

Responding to the figures, the Simon Community has welcomed “the fourth consecutive monthly reduction in the numbers of people in emergency accommodation.” 

The charity said: “It is a testimony to the collaboration between local authorities, NGO’s like Simon, the HSE and the Department of Housing that we have been able to continue to support people to move on from homelessness even in the midst of the pandemic.

“We also have to include words of caution, we cannot underestimate the impact that the emergency legislation that prevented evictions over this period has had on the number of people in emergency homeless accommodation.

“These provisions have played a huge role in reducing the number of individuals and families coming into homelessness.  

“There is a concern that while we are seeing a fall in the number of people in emergency accommodation there remains a significant number of individuals and families who were in precarious living condition prior to the Covid-19 crisis and with the pressure brought about by the Covid-19 crisis that number is growing.  

“As the lockdown restrictions are lifting the new government will have to act immediately to ensure that supports are in place and reaching those most impacted by the Covid-19 crisis to ensure that we do not see a wave of individuals and families entering homelessness.”

Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO added: “We welcome the fall in the number of children experiencing homelessness; this amounts to over five hundred children gaining a home since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. 

"There are likely Covid-19 related causes to this decrease and we would urge the Government not to take this good news for granted. 

"All existing resources must be made available to make sure children and families in emergency accommodation have access to much-needed support services."


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