‘Very long way to go’ despite drop in homeless numbers

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

Charities have warned that the Government still has a very long way to go in fully addressing the homelessness crisis after latest figures indicated a fall in the number of people in emergency accommodation during December.

The latest data, released by the Department of Housing on Thursday, shows there were 5,508 adults and 3,079 children without permanent accommodation last month — a fall of 16 compared with the figure for November.

The number of families in emergency accommodation decreased by 122 to 1,408.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said that while a lot more still needs to be done, a lot of good work was done last year and the figures are evidence of “good progress for those families who were accommodated during the month of December”.

Focus Ireland welcomed the fall in the level of homelessness but stressed that it could be a seasonal drop due to the possibility of more people taking in extended family for the Christmas period.

Focus Ireland director of advocacy Mike Allen said 2017 was still the worst year for homelessness in the history of the State.

DePaul, which operates more than 200 One Night Only beds, referred to the increase of 64 in the number of adult males in homelessness in Dublin.

Depaul CEO Kerry Anthony said: “We need to do better for homeless adults.” She added: “The decrease in families experiencing homelessness is positive news and welcomed by Depaul, despite the very long way to go in accommodating the still shocking number of 1,408 families struggling in homelessness.”


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