Focus Ireland calls for funds over struggle to keep up with rate of homelessness

Focus Ireland is finding it impossible to keep pace with the rate of homelessness.

The charity’s family team plays a leading role in supporting one family a day to move out of homeless but on the very same day, three more become homeless.

During August, Focus Ireland supported a record 33 families to move out of homelessness, while 72 new families became homeless in Dublin.

Focus Ireland works with the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive and local authorities in helping families move out of homelessness.

During the first eight months of this year, 671 families with 1,257 children became homeless in Dublin —an average of 84 per month, compared to just over 60 last year.

Focus Ireland’s pre-budget submission, just launched, calls for funds to be made available to fast-track delivery of housing to help tackle the deepening family homeless crisis.

The charity’s director of advocacy, Mike Allen, said their submission outlined key measures that Finance Minister Michael Noonan could take to fast-track the delivery of housing.

He said the measures would ensure families and individuals made homeless in the cities were not trapped in emergency accommodation for years.

The measures include the adoption of the Housing Finance Agency’s proposal that it becomes the primary source of lending to local authorities so they can more quickly secure funding to build houses.

“For years now we have been stuck in the deeply frustrating maze in which the Government keep insisting that money is no problem yet the local authorities tell use the systems are too complex for them to access the money to deliver homes which are urgently needed,” he said.

Focus Ireland’s submission also calls for an end to the system where many families who are recognised as homeless by local authorities must find their own emergency accommodation. It said the current system has led to a number of families being at risk of sleeping rough as they cannot find emergency accommodation.

Focus Ireland also wants Mr Noonan to make money available to help over 2,000 children and their families living in hotel rooms and B&Bs cope better with their situation.

“Not having the money to get across town to school and not being able to find support for children upset by their experiences put further cruel burdens on the parents,” said Mr Allen.


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