Simon Coveney: Tourist numbers may make it hard for homeless to get emergency accommodation

Simon Coveney: Tourist numbers may make it hard for homeless to get emergency accommodation

The Housing Minister admits there is concern that trying to secure emergency hotel accommodation for homeless families will be more difficult during the summer season.

Simon Coveney said if the number of families seeking help continues to rise, it will exacerbate the problem.

Figures released by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive yesterday show the number of families living in homeless accommodation has increased by more than a third since December - with 2,177 children now officially homeless.

The action plan on housing will be unveiled next month, and the Housing Minister says it will contain more supports for homeless families.

Simon Coveney says the Government is working on a number of projects to provide better emergency accommodation.

He said: "There is a concern that in the middle of the peak tourism season that actually getting emergency hotel accommodation will be difficult, particularly if the numbers of families that are homeless continues to increase.

"Which is why we need to respond as a Government to that with Dublin City Council and lots of others, particularly in the medium and short term to provide better emergency accommodation than the hotels can provide.

"And we are working on a number of projects in that regard."

The Minister officially opened a new Sophia project for homeless people in Dublin’s north inner city today.

The project at Sean McDermott Street was refurbished from 36 single-bed accommodation units into 18 self-contained, one bedroom apartments for single people and couples.

It was funded by the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) from the then Department of Housing and Local Government and in partnership with Dublin City Council.

Minister Coveney said: " We face a serious homelessness problem, particularly in Dublin, and facilities like this one give people back their dignity."

"This facility will accommodate some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in the city who will now be able to leave street homelessness or one night only emergency accommodation.

Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, planting a Cherry Blossom tree as the Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Declan Dunne, CEO, Sophia watch on at the new Sophia project. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan
Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, planting a Cherry Blossom tree as the Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Declan Dunne, CEO, Sophia watch on at the new Sophia project. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan

"This project run by Sophia will provide permanent homes for homeless couples and single people together with all the support they need to live independently."

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