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More than 14,000 people have signed a Barnardos petition calling on the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD, to place a six month cap on the use of B&Bs and hotels as emergency accommodation for children.
More than 14,000 people have signed a Barnardos petition calling on the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy TD, to place a six month cap on the use of B&Bs and hotels as emergency accommodation for children. Delivery of the petition comes as the latest figures show the number of children homeless in October remains shockingly high at 3,725.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos said: “While there was a small decrease in the number of children and families homeless last month, the fact remains that thousands of children are facing into the prospect of Christmas in a small hotel or B&B room. Some of these children are spending their second Christmas in cramped, insecure accommodation without privacy, cooking facilities or space to play with new toys. At Barnardos we believe this is unacceptable and 14,207 people have signed our petition to say they agree. We were overwhelmed by the enormous response from the public to our petition. It shows this is an issue people want decisive action on.
“Recent re-categorisation of homeless families by the Department of Housing has seen some families in house and apartment style emergency accommodation removed from the homeless figures despite not having a long-term, secure lease agreement; yet secure, own-door emergency accommodation is what should be provided for all families experiencing homelessness. Children experiencing homelessness need and deserve somewhere safe and appropriate to develop, eat, learn, rest and play - just as all children do. Living in cramped hotel or B&B rooms for prolonged periods is proven to have negative effects on children’s physical, social and emotional development and leads to poor mental health for the whole family. We urge Minister Murphy to take on board the views and wishes of the thousands of people who have signed our petition and place a cap of six months on the use of hotels and B&Bs to accommodate children experiencing homelessness”.