Focus Ireland warns of 'wave of homelessness' when Covid-19 restrictions lift

The director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, Mike Allen has warned that there could be a “wave of homelessness” when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Focus Ireland warns of 'wave of homelessness' when Covid-19 restrictions lift

The director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, Mike Allen has warned that there could be a “wave of homelessness” when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Mr Allen told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that prior to Covid-19 up to 100 families were entering into homelessness in the Dublin area every month.

"Last month that figure was 13. This was because of Covid restrictions which do not allow evictions," he said.

“What about those families? Are they just waiting to be evicted when this is over?”

Mr Allen said he was concerned that when the pandemic payments finish or are reduced it could mean many people will not be able to pay their rent as they will still be out of work.

"The homeless are one of the most vulnerable groups during the Covid crisis," he added.

It was an “incredible achievement” that there had been only 20 cases of the virus and no deaths among the homeless.

This was because of the cooperation between local authorities, the health authority and homeless support groups who should all be “justly proud”, he said.

“It’s been a huge collaboration backed by government measures stopping evictions.”

Director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, Mike Allen
Director of advocacy at Focus Ireland, Mike Allen

Mr Allen called for the measures to be continued. Focus Ireland this week wrote to the leaders of all the political parties setting out their contribution to the road map “out of this.”

"Collaboration, cooperation and collectively working together need to be the response," he said.

"If there isn’t a second wave of Covid, there could be a wave of homelessness because of job losses and reduced Covid payments."

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