A homeless charity has warned of more hardship cases emerging as the country’s accommodation crisis spirals out of control.
This week a family of three young children ended up sleeping rough in a park in Dublin’s inner city because there was no emergency accommodation available.
National spokesperson for the Simon Communities, Niamh Randall, said the homeless situation was spiralling out of control because the response was far too slow.
“This is an absolute crisis. There are 620 families nationally in emergency accommodation — 1,318 children. That is not acceptable,” she said.
Yesterday, a mother who has been living with her two children in emergency accommodation since April said she was at breaking point.
During an interview on Newstalk, Amy, said she had been living in rented accommodation for four years but was asked to leave by her landlord who was forced to sell the house.
The local authority told her that there was nothing for her because it was still housing people from last year. Ms Randall said stories like Amy’s were becoming less and less unusual because the State was failing people who were really vulnerable.
“We are going to see more hardship cases because we are hearing nothing that is going to address what causes people to become homeless.
“What we keep hearing is about the longer-term solution but we need to know what is going to happen right now,” Ms Randall said.
Simon Communities want an immediate increase in rent supplement amounts.
“We know that rents have increased by 18% between June 2013 and June 2015. This is pushing people into homelessness and preventing people from leaving homelessness behind.”
“I don’t think landlords are the enemy but we should be looking at providing more protection to people in the private rented sector, as well as reforming it.”
She said Environment Minister Alan Kelly had failed to live up to his promise to introduce rent certainty measures before the summer.
Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan said the Government was trying to prevent people from losing their homes and reduce the need for hotels for emergency accommodation.
“A lot of this is about the fact that there was pretty much a halt in construction when the economic collapse came — builders stopped building and this crisis built up,” said Ms O’Sullivan.
“There was very little social housing constructed even when the Celtic Tiger was roaring,” she said during an interview on RTÉ.
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