Slight drop in homeless figures last month but renewed calls for action

Slight drop in homeless figures last month but renewed calls for action
File image of homeless campaigners confronting Housing Minister, Eoghan Murphy

There has been a very slight drop in the number of people who are registered as homeless.

Figures just released by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government show 10,253 people were living in emergency accommodation last month.

That's 125 fewer people than the month before.

The government is, however, once again being called on to change the way it's managing the housing crisis.

Labour's Housing Spokesperson, Jan O'Sullivan, says more council and affordable homes need to built now.

"In a country like Ireland which is relatively well off, the idea that we have more than 10,000 people homeless is completely unacceptable."

St Vincent De Paul CEO Kerry Anthony said the slight decrease in the homeless figures is welcome.

"However, we must remember we are coming from a place where we have seen the highest figures ever recorded. We have been here before where figures have gone down only to go up again dramatically. We must not get complacent in our efforts.

“We know from recent research in to those accessing our emergency services that some of the people presenting are students who, when faced with the prospect of homelessness ceased engagement with their education. This is a stark example of how homelessness affects lives."

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy welcomed the slight decrease in the numbers of homeless last month.

It was a “small reduction”, but it remained unacceptable that any child should have to live in emergency accommodation.

There is no silver bullet solution when it comes to the housing crisis he added.

It would require a series of measures as it was difficult to “catch up” on ten years of under building.

New measures such as restrictions on short term lettings would help, he said.

The Help To Buy scheme had been very successful in assisting 10,000 to buy new homes, but it is due to end later this year.

He will discuss the possibility of extending it with his colleagues in Cabinet.

The latest homeless figures can be seen here

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