Number of children housed in hotels and B&Bs 'demoralising', charity says

Almost 60% of all children living in emergency accommodation in Dublin are housed in hotels and B&Bs, according to children's charity Barnardos.

Barnardos is highlighting that the number of children living in those types of accommodation remains high.

It also draws attention to a deadline set 12 months ago by former Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, to end the use of hotels and B&Bs as temporary accommodation for families, except when in very limited circumstances.

Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos said: “Minister Coveney promised to end the use of hotels and B&Bs for families experiencing homelessness by July 2017.

"One year on it is beyond demoralising to think almost 4,000 children are living in emergency accommodation, so many of which are in hotels and B&Bs.

"Barnardos is delivering a petition with over 4,000 signatures to the Government calling for no child to spend more than six months in emergency accommodation – and for a longterm solution to be provided.

“Life in emergency accommodation is filled with uncertainty, insecurity and strife. While family hubs at least offer a more appropriate setting for children, it is clear now the likely majority of children continue to be accommodated in hotels and B&Bs."

"This is wildly unsuitable accommodation – offering no semblance of a stable home environment. Families live out of suitcases, having given away or stored many of their belongings, never settling, always aware that they may have to move on,” he said.

Latest figures from Dublin City Council show that in April 2018 there were 791 families and 1,651 children living in hotels and B&Bs in Dublin alone.

The charity points out that monthly figures issued from Department of Housing do not give a breakdown of the number of children living in different emergency accommodation types.

- Digital Desk

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