Dublin Simon Community responds to rise in emergency figures


Leading homeless charity says that the latest Dublin figures are unacceptable and shameful

The Dublin Simon Community has today expressed alarm at the rising number of children and families in emergency accommodation in Dublin.

Speaking about the continuing month on month increase, Sam McGuinness from the Dublin Simon Community said;

“The number of children in emergency accommodation has risen to a shocking 1,425, with the number of families now at 677. If we look at October 2014, this is a 110% increase for children and 120% for families. This is totally unacceptable.

“With no measures to stop the ever rising flow of people into homelessness over the past year, we are now faced with the very shameful situation where 1,425 children are forced to lay their head in inadequate accommodation, scared and vulnerable, without a safe home to look to this Christmas.”

In response to Government measures introduced this month, Sam McGuinness acknowledged recent rent certainty initiative however said that it in no way goes far enough to solve the immediate problem.

“The rent certainty measures, fail to address the gravity and scale of the homeless and housing crisis that surrounds us. It’s like trying to hold back a flooded river with a dam of straw.”

“As rents remain unaffordable and the gap between Rent Supplement and market rents continues to widen, it’s absolutely certain that more and more children, families and individuals will be pushed into homelessness. Without linking rents in the private sector to an index like Consumer Price Index, there is still nothing to stop rents continuing to increase especially at a time when the number of properties available to rent is at an all-time low.”

“The absence of full rent certainty and no increase in rent supplement means there’s still very little preventing people from falling into the trap of homelessness. Without these measures, far too many people will continue to come to our door for help, with thousands more remaining trapped in emergency accommodation without any prospect of permanent housing to move onto.”

“We urgently need to move away from an emergency led response as we cannot keep offering people short term solutions that have now become long term. With the introduction of almost 200 extra emergency beds this month the Government is demonstrating a complete lack of long term vision on how to solve this crisis. The extra beds initiative will feed into the bottle neck of emergency bed provision, adding to the emergency figures which have been steadily increasing since the last year.”

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