Number of homeless children reaches highest on record
The March figures, released by the Department of Housing, show the number of homeless children is at its highest ever, with an alarming 2,563 children living in hotels or B&Bs across the country, said Barnardos.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos, said “these ever-increasing figures are indicative of the housing crisis spiralling and deepening. It offers little hope that the Minister’s own target to ensure no homeless child will be living in a hotel by July 2017 will be met. Each monthly increase represents more children living in inappropriate accommodation, totally confused over what is happening to them and scared for their future. While their parents are struggling to cope with stress, uncertainty and feelings of inadequacy that is not of their own making or within their control to resolve.
“These figures show that 83% of all homeless children are in Dublin where the availability of private rented accommodation or social housing is most limited. Many families are trapped in hotels for over a year. However, homelessness is not just a Dublin issue as many of the families we work with across our projects are having real difficulty in accessing alternative appropriate accommodation due to the lack of supply. This is leaving them in substandard and overcrowded homes.”
Ms Tinsley concluded “the Rebuilding Ireland plan while ambitious and trying to address all the aspects of the housing sector is not being implemented quick enough to stem the flow of homelessness. Targets for new builds are too low and not being met and there is a continued over reliance on the private rented sector to increase supply. Efforts must be redoubled to keep families at risk of homelessness in their homes and prevent them from ending up in next month’s statistics”