Simon Community warn red tape is pushing people into housing insecurity and homelessness

Many vulnerable tenants are living on the edge of homelessness.

The warning, being issued today by the Simon Communities in Ireland, revealed about one-in-three people are worried about the shortage and availability of affordable homes, to buy or rent.

Also, one-in-three people are anxious about high rental costs and being able to feed their families and heat their homes.

With high numbers sleeping rough and homelessness affecting health, Simon Communities’ Cut the Red Tape campaign focuses on system failures.

They warn red tape is pushing people into housing insecurity, homelessness and preventing people from leaving behind the fear of homelessness.

National spokesperson for Simon Communities, Niamh Randall, warned: “We are seeing the impact of rising rents and reduced housing supply and people are being pushed over the edge into homelessness.

“Figures clearly demonstrate how vulnerable people feel about their own housing issues and how concerned they are about the housing and homelessness crisis that has gripped the country.

“This must be the number one priority for the Government and Budget 2017. There are now over 6,500 people who are trapped in emergency accommodation because there are no homes for them.”

Meanwhile, more outreach workers are needed to help Cork City’s homeless after the number of people placed in emergency accommodation surged to over 400 during the summer.

Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy led calls for at least two more staff to back-up the council’s sole homeless outreach worker as winter approaches.

Kieran McCarthy
Kieran McCarthy

His call comes as new figures show the council placed 345 people in emergency accommodation in May, rising to 412 in June and July. The figure includes 25 families and 69 children — three times more than the same period last year.

“This is a worrying sign. On the one hand, it shows that there is an emergency bed for anyone that needs it but this is not a long-term solution.

“These people are often the most vulnerable, and the system needs to be set up to help them in the immediate to short-term,” he said.

He praised the current outreach worker for her “incredible work” but said more are needed given the rise in demand.

Meanwhile, Helping Hands Homeless Action Group Ltd has been launched to help the city’s homeless.

The group will offer services including a street run, legal and financial advice along with counselling services, and lobbying for improved homeless services.

The group, which hopes to secure charitable status, based at 10 George’s Quay, is planning its first street run on September 30 from Daunt Square.

The group can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram under the name Helping Hands Homeless Action Group Cork.

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