The Depaul Trust has warned that having to assist 272 children in its Dublin homeless service so far this year is a “worrying scenario”, and unsustainable given that its resources are already “stretched to capacity”.

Last year, the Depaul Trust assisted 240 homeless children through its services but that figure has been surpassed in just the first nine months of this year and comes after the overall figure for the number of homeless families has spiralled upwards throughout 2016.

Depaul manages three family homeless services in Dublin and the charity’s CEO, Kerry Anthony, said: “The numbers are the highest they have been on record.”

“There is absolutely no doubt that the services we have, with the resources we have — coming out of five years of austerity and cuts — our services are stretched to capacity.”

Ms Anthony said the 272 children it supported up to the end of September were linked to 147 families, adding that Depaul has this year experienced a continuous sustained demand for its accommodation and community-based homeless services.

She welcomed Government efforts to ease the housing crisis, including the increase in resources and the launch of the Rebuilding Ireland housing plan, but she said for many families “it’s a matter of bricks and mortar”.

Tomorrow, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community, and Local Government Simon Coveney will launch pillar three of Rebuilding Ireland, which is focused on building more houses. It comes as housing charity Threshold reported a 26% rise nationally in the number of tenants seeking advice and support for rent reviews in the past year.

Threshold said the Government needs to take immediate steps to tackle the problems faced by tenants, including amending the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2015 to provide for rent certainty as to the rate of increase in rents, and ensuring that tenants are afforded greater security in their homes by introducing indefinite tenancies.

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