Eoghan Murphy defends homeless figures amid statistic manipulation accusations

The Housing Minister has strongly defended homeless figures amid accusations that the statistics were manipulated to ensure the numbers remained below 10,000.

Eoghan Murphy hit out at the opposition, claiming they are “so desperate” to see the numbers go up “that they think we should be counting people who are not in emergency accommodation or in homelessness as homeless.”

Sinn Féin’s Eoin Ó Broin accused Mr Murphy of “knowingly manipulating the March homeless figures”.

The March figures revealed there were 9,681 people in emergency accommodation.

However 600 people were removed from the homeless figures after Mr Murphy said a number of local authorities wrongly categorised individuals and families living in local authority-owned or leased housing stock.

Sinn Féin deem these people to be in emergency accommodation as they do not have a tenancy.

Mr Ó Broin said:

These people, including many families with children, are homeless and are in emergency accommodation arrangements funded by councils’ homeless services. The councils in question received an instruction to remove them from the March homeless report.

During some robust Dáil exchanges, Mr Murphy stressed that none of the people are in hubs, hostels, hotels, or other emergency accommodation.

“They are in private rented accommodation, in some instances. They never went into homelessness.

“We should not count them as homeless because it does a disservice to those who actually are homeless. That is where our focus should be and not on Sinn Féin’s political antics.”

A spokesman for the minister said that when finalising the March homeless data with a number of local authorities, it emerged that in a number of areas, people living in local authority owned or leased houses, including in some instances people renting in the private sector but in receipt of social housing supports, were being categorised as being in emergency accommodation.

“Against this backdrop, the council and the department agreed that individuals and families that the council has arranged to be accommodated in private houses or apartments leased by the council should not be classified as being in emergency accommodation.”

The spokesman said “given the classification issue that has arisen” the department will be working with councils to establish the appropriate funding programme to be used for this accommodation”.


Related Articles

Ban on living in public areas to come into force in Hungary

Mind your language: Words really matter in the world of politics

Inner City Helping Homeless asking EU for support to tackle homelessness

Dublin homeless charity to receive European Citizen's Prize

More in this Section

Glanmire residents face 20-week wait for ministerial approval for €8.5m flood relief plan


Breaking Stories

Clontarf may get flood defences that cost twice as much as plans rejected seven years ago

Groups to protest outside Dáil to call for Govt action on climate change

Study finds people can see their credit card limit as a target rather than a limit

Dáil to vote on Taoiseach's Cabinet reshuffle

Breaking Stories

Meet the A-listers of Zeminar 2018

Impressive double act kicks off Wexford Festival Opera

Boyhood dream becomes a reality for filmmaker George Morrison

More From The Irish Examiner