City Council denies turning people away since they took over Cork homeless services

City Council denies turning people away since they took over Cork homeless services
File photo.

Cork City Council has rejected suggestions that it has reduced homeless services in Cork city.

The Council took over the running of the Homeless Persons Unit - now the Accommodation Placement Service - on January 21.

A protest at Cork City Hall today, organised by the Housing Actions Group, claimed that service users had been inconvenienced by staff and policy changes since. The group claimed some people had been turned away and refused support.

However, Cork City Council has rejected this, claiming that some attendees had tried to source their own accommodation at 4-star hotels in the city.

A statement from Cork City Council said that it will not issue cheques to those who self-accommodate, as was the practice with the Department of Social Protection, which ran the old facility.

Instead, if there is no bed available within emergency services, Cork City Council say they will book for the service user and make the payment on their behalf.

A statement from Cork City Council said that it is "obliged to get value for money" and that service users should not be required to source their own accommodation in advance.

The council said: "It is incumbent on the Council when sourcing hotel and B&B accommodation for emergency accommodation that best value is obtained in price and quality.

"In a small number of instances where service users sourced 4-star hotels at specific geographical areas of the city and/or were suspected of involvement with unorthodox sub-letting arrangements by tenants of private properties, the Council had to take action to regularise the position."

No individual has been turned away without an offer of emergency accommodation, a council spokesperson added.

The service delivered from the City Hall will be relocated to a premises in the city centre in the next number of months.

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