New homeless figures are the “worst ever” in the 50 years of the Simon Community according to the director of the Cork Simon Community.
Dermot Kavanagh described the figures released today as “very disappointing” and a “huge crisis and huge trauma” for the families and individuals involved.
He told RTE’s Morning Ireland that the figures don’t include rough sleepers, women and children in domestic violence shelters or people “couch surfing.”
The figures released today indicate there are 9,987 people registered as homeless in Ireland, the majority of them in Dublin.
Mr Kavanagh said that the number of homeless families had more than tripled in the South West region in the past three years, rising from 30 to 109. There are now 514 registered homeless individuals in the region, most in Cork city.
“There is a huge crisis in the private rental sector. Rent increases have been relentless for the past five years. Quite a lot of people simply cannot afford rent.”
However, Mr Kavanagh is hopeful that the forthcoming Residential Tenancies Bill will bring about some changes and mean more security for tenants. “It is a move in the right direction to help prevent people’s homes from being sold from under them.
“It also includes measures to include security of tenure and greater enforcement of rent pressure zones.”
The Cork Simon Community operates a 47-bed shelter along with a night shelter that sleeps 15. “We are full all the time,” said Mr Kavanagh.