One Year on from Government Deadline, Majority of Homeless Children in Dublin Still Living in Hotels and B&Bs
Barnardos is highlighting that the number of children living in hotels and B&Bs remains shockingly high despite it being a year past the deadline set by former Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, to end the use of hotels and B&Bs as temporary accommodation for families (except in very limited circumstances). In fact almost 60% of all children living in emergency accommodation in Dublin are housed in hotels and B&Bs.
Fergus Finlay, CEO, Barnardos said: “Minister Coveney promised to end the use of hotels and B&Bs for families experiencing homelessness by July 2017. One year on it is beyond demoralising to think almost 4,000 children are living in emergency accommodation, so many of which are in hotels and B&Bs. Barnardos is delivering a petition with over 4,000 signatures to the Government calling for no child to spend more than six months in emergency accommodation – and for a longterm solution to be provided. Barnardos’ campaigners and supporters, like many people in Ireland are tired and demoralised at the lack of effective action from Government on this issue.
“Life in emergency accommodation is filled with uncertainty, insecurity and strife. While family hubs at least offer a more appropriate setting for children, it is clear now the likely majority of children continue to be accommodated in hotels and B&Bs. This is wildly unsuitable accommodation – offering no semblance of a stable home environment. Children share beds with their siblings and often their parents. Families live out of suitcases, having given away or stored many of their belongings, never settling, always aware that they may have to move on.”
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said: “Hotels and B&Bs are not designed to act as long-term accommodation for anyone, let alone children. Many families end up moving around between different hotels depending on availability – frequently moving and not knowing where you’ll sleep from one end of the week to the next is incredibly traumatising for any child. Aside from the impact on children, using private emergency accommodation is incredibly expensive for the exchequer – approx. €115 million was spend last year. This is not good value for money. No child should wonder where they will sleep tomorrow night and every child should have a safe and secure place to call home.”