Barnardos Deeply Concerned That Homeless Figures At Record High
Barnardos is deeply concerned that the Government’s most recent homelessness figures released yesterday show the number of children and families who are homeless are continuing to rise. There are now a record 2,708 children registered as homeless and 1,302 families. These are the highest numbers ever recorded. In total there were 7,680 people registered as homeless in April – this is on par with the entire population of Monaghan town. This is a crisis of unprecedented propotions.
Barnardos June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy said “it is disheartening, depressing and extremely worrying that the impact of Government efforts to date are not being felt by those most in need. Instead the crisis is deepening. This week, it’s reported 12 homeless families were sent to Garda stations for the night because they have nowhere else to go. Imagine the fear, confusion and uncertainity experienced by the children and the helplessness felt by their parents.”
"Over a billion euro was allocated to underpin the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland for 2017, but this stategy to address the crisis is simply not working. Greater efforts need to be made to keep families in their homes to prevent them becoming homeless by increasing Housing Assistance Payment rates and offering more discretionary payments to families at risk of homelessness. Increasing supply of social housing stock rather than over reliance on the private rented sector is crucial to resolving this crisis.
“Having a place to call home is a basic necessity and we are failing in that for these 2,708 children. Their childhoods are being damaged and destroyed. Repairing this damage will be difficult and costly with each passing day that they remain homeless.”