Local Dublin South West Sinn Fein TD Sean Crowe says several families in emergency hotel and B&B accommodation in Dublin city centre have contacted him after they were told they must vacate their rooms in the run up to St Patricks weekend.
Those families now face spending the weekend on the streets as hoteliers want to make room for tourists on one of the most lucrative weekends of the year for the Dublin hospitality sector.
Deputy Crowe said:
“Homeless families are facing into St Patrick’s weekend with nowhere to stay or go for that weekend.
“If they’re lucky they’ll get to sleep on a friend’s floor or maybe in a car.
“A weekend that should be a positive celebration of Irishness will now unfortunately have a negative impact on the homelessness situation.”
The Dublin Regional Homeless Executive figures released last week revealed that 60% of homeless families in the Dublin area have been in emergency accommodation for more than six months, while 40% of families have been in hotels, B&Bs, or hostels for over one year.
Deputy Crowe says a closer look at the stats reveals an even more shocking figure:
“Disgracefully, 138 families have spent more than 18 months in emergency accommodation.
“We know that many of these families are living in inappropriate, unsuitable, and insecure accommodation but it’s the only alternative they have to living on the street.
“I have no doubt that many infrequent visitors to Ireland, and Dublin in particular, will be shocked by the amount of homeless people living on the streets.
“There is clearly a crisis in housing and special weekends, concerts, or events put additional pressure on accommodation.
“The Government are either indifferent or unaware of the extent of the crisis and appear to be content on letting the crisis get worse and worse.
“Homeless families are facing into St Patrick’s weekend with nowhere to stay or go for that weekend. There is no emergency plan, no emergency measures, and no solutions coming from the Government as they head off to other parts of the globe.
“Surely, one measure the Government could adopt are the recommendations made by both the Simon Community and the Peter McVerry Trust this week on returning vacant homes to public use.”