Short-term decline in numbers but homeless crisis getting worse, says Focus Ireland

Short-term decline in numbers but homeless crisis getting worse, says Focus Ireland

A housing charity says the long-term trend shows that the homeless crisis is getting worse.

New figures released yesterday show a slight drop in the number of people in emergency accommodation in December, down by 215 to 9,753.

Focus Ireland has welcomed the decrease but says the number of people homeless actually increased last year.

Spokesperson for the charity, Roughan McNamara, does not believe we are turning a corner in tackling homelessness.

"The overall trend shows the crisis is still deepening," said Mr McNamara.

"If we go back to December 2017, there has been a massive jump of 14% in the numbers homeless since then. So the overall trend is upwards.

"We strongly believe the government needs to change their policy and deliver more social housing to end this crisis."

Mr McNamara said he fears the figures may rise again in the coming months.

"There is a seasonal trend over the years that less people present as homeless because families may take people in over the holiday period.

"It would be a short-term arrangement - relationships break down or there simply isn't room for them and they go back into homelessness.

"So there is an annual spike in the numbers in January and February."

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