Latest: There may be 'new reasons' families are presenting as homeless, says Housing Minister

Latest: There may be 'new reasons' families are presenting as homeless, says Housing Minister

Update 6.12pm: Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has said that there may be "new reasons" families are becoming homeless.

He was speaking after new figures revealed a rise of 488 in the number of homeless children in February alone.

"We look at the indicators over the course of the last year, year and a half," said Minister Murphy

"We see when we look at planning permissions, commencement notices, registration of large units, investment in residential property - all of those figures are heading in the right direction.

"So that's one of the underlying reasons for while there are people experiencing homelessness for economic reasons.

"But it was brought to my attention in the course of the last two months, by the Dublin Regional Homelessness Executive, that there may be new trends developing, new reasons for presentations, particularly when it comes to families, and that is something we're investigating at the moment."

Earlier: Barnardos condemns 'largest jump in child homelessness in two years'

Update 5.56pm: Children’s charity Barnardos says it is horrified by the increase in the number of homeless children in February.

A total of 3,755 children were living in emergency accommodation, which was an increase of 488 on the previous month and a 47% increase on the same time last year.

“This is the largest jump in child homelessness in a single month we have seen in two years," said June Tinsley, head of advocacy Barnardos said.

"With the cost of rent continuing to rise across the country, it is unsurprising more families find themselves unable to afford market rents and end up experiencing homelessness as a result.

"Also families remain trapped in homeless accommodation for long periods as there is nowhere affordable to move onto.

“The Government must accept that their current strategies aren’t working and take action to stem the tide of child homelessness. Greater preventative measures such as rent certainty and security of tenure must be implemented as an emergency response.

“It is a tragedy that 3,755 children and 1,739 families are registered as homeless. These children are living in emergency accommodation without the space they need to live, play and grow.

"No child should worry about whether they will wake up in the same bed tomorrow as they did today. We launched our LOST CHILDHOOD campaign because enough is enough.

Latest: There may be 'new reasons' families are presenting as homeless, says Housing Minister

She added: "The Government is damaging the lives of these 3,755 children who are registered as homeless as well as those thousands more who are experiencing hidden homelessness, living with extended family or friends in unsuitable and inappropriate accommodation, who are not officially counted as homeless.”

Barnardos has urged the public to join its LOST Childhood Campaign to advocate for children and call for political change.

Earlier: Number of homeless in Ireland nearing 10,000 mark

There has been another rise in the number of people becoming homeless.

Figures from the Department of Housing show the number of families in emergency accommodation rose by 222 between January and February, while 215 adults were added to the list.

Almost 9,800 adults and children are now homeless, which the Housing Minister has admitted is a "very worrying trend".

Anthony Flynn from Inner City Helping Homeless agreed, saying: "The 'worrying trend' has been a trend for over six to eight months," he said.

"We've seen an increase month-on-month since the Minister has come into office.

"We need a total re-evaluation of homeless services, we need a total reevaluation of how we deal with families who are renting homeless services, and we need to do is put measures in place to stop families becoming homeless."

Latest: There may be 'new reasons' families are presenting as homeless, says Housing Minister

Barnardos children’s charity has said it is horrified at the increase in the number of children who were homeless last month which reached 3,755.

The figures show an increase of 488 on the previous month of children living in emergency accommodation and a 47% increase on the same time last year.

June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy at Barnardos, said: “This is the largest jump in child homelessness in a single month we have seen in two years. With the cost of rent continuing to rise across the country, it is unsurprising more families find themselves unable to afford market rents and end up experiencing homelessness as a result.

"Also, families remain trapped in homeless accommodation for long periods as there is nowhere affordable to move onto.

“The Government must accept that their current strategies aren’t working and take action to stem the tide of child homelessness. Greater preventative measures such as rent certainty and security of tenure must be implemented as an emergency response."

- Digital desk

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