€1m per week bill to shelter homeless in Dublin

Dublin City Council is paying hotels, hostels and other emergency accommodation providers almost €1m a week to shelter the spiralling numbers of homeless in the capital.

New figures from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) show the spend on emergency accommodation for the homeless totalled €34.85m for the nine months to the end of September.

The average weekly spend on emergency accommodation is just over €968,000. The figures also show that €26.6m has been paid to hotels in the nine months to the end of September — around €740,000 a week — outstripping the 2015 total by €10m.

The spend to September coincides with the numbers of homeless families topping the 1,000 mark, including 2,065 children, for the first time in Dublin.

The figures show that the payments to hoteliers in the quarter between the start of July to the end of September is the highest ever recorded at over €10.3m.

In addition, the city council paid emergency accommodation providers, including B&B and hostel owners, an additional €8.18m for the first nine months of the year.

The figures show that between January and September, a total of €69m has been spent on a variety of homeless services by local authorities in Dublin.

The projected budget for the year is €103.25m — more than double the spend in 2014.

Last month, the city council agreed a budget of almost €120m to be spent on homeless services next year.

Included in the 2016 spend is €1m on a freephone helpline service for the homeless in Dublin, with €653,270 spent on it to the end of September.

The figures show that the DRHE is budgeting to spend €1m this year on Merchant’s Quay “Nite Cafe” and €822,249 on the cafe’s services for the first nine months while an additional €1m is budgeted to be spent on Focus Ireland’s Open Access Coffee Shop with €803,193 spent on the service between January and the end of September.

The amount paid to individual hotels remains confidential.


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