Charity houses more than 1,200 people in spite of Covid challenges

This year sees 50% rise in the numbers aided by Peter McVerry Trust
Charity houses more than 1,200 people in spite of Covid challenges

Homes were secured in more than 20 local authority areas, with Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kildare, Louth, Waterford, and Kerry those with the highest number of people supported into housing.

The Peter McVerry Trust has helped more than 1,200 people secure a home this year across the country — a 50% increase compared with the figure for 2019.

The national housing and homeless charity said it was delighted with the number of people it had been able to help, particularly given the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Homes were secured in more than 20 local authority areas, with Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kildare, Louth, Waterford, and Kerry those with the highest number of people supported into housing.

The charity's CEO, Pat Doyle, said: “We are absolutely delighted to help over 1,200 people secure a home this year, an increase of 50% on 2019. 

We all know that this year has been an extremely challenging one for so many people in our society. Each and every time we can help someone get the keys to their own home is a privilege and offers us much needed hope and encouragement. 

“Over the course of the year, we have worked relentlessly to identify, secure and support people into homes on a daily basis. Our staff have had a very difficult year on the frontline managing and responding to Covid-19 but we have never lost sight of our goal to secure as many homes as we can for those in need.” 

The Peter McVerry Trust is an approved housing body and said it significantly increased the amount of homes, particularly one-bedroom homes, it can provide.

Those efforts included the housing first programme, which supports people sleeping rough and long-term residents of homeless hostels to get their own place.

“We have been able to dramatically increase progressions from our hostels with progressions up 40% on 2019, we have increased the amount of people we have housed coming to us from non-Peter McVerry Trust services."

We have had a very positive year in helping people in direct provision to secure private rental accommodation.

“There has been no doubt that as a result of Covid-19 that we have had more opportunities to secure rental properties and properties on long-term leases. 

"We have a really good pipeline of projects for 2021 and we are continuing to see a steady flow of opportunities for us to appraise and secure which ultimately means more homes for those in need.

“The challenge now for 2021 is to keep up our work and maintain the level of homes we are able to secure for people in need. There are opportunities out there and it's up to us to make them work."

While the PVT welcomed the numbers of people it has helped rehouse, just last week it expressed concerns over the most recent homelessness figures.

Pat Doyle said that while overall, the number of people in homelessness this year is down significantly on last year, it was hoping that the increase noticed in October was a "blip" rather than evidence of a trend of a return to rising homelessness.

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